Lavender Hill Mob

Lavender Hill Mob

26 August 2015 | Pic PR

The handmade cosmetics brand Lush, which supports all things green, animal friendly and wholesome in the world, has just been accused of supporting the London Riots. Not exactly the happy, sparkly PR the brand is used to.

The ‘Lavender Hill Mob’ Incense appears to celebrate and support the awful London riots in 2011. The incense bottles are decorated with cartoons of burning buildings and the chaos of the event. Taking inspiration from a riot, even if the intentions are well meaning, is a bit of a controversial move. From a PR stand this was not a smart idea, the Battersea MP stated, and I agree, the brand should be ashamed.

According to Lush, the product came about after residents of Lavender Hill joined hands ‘in a show of community spirit and solidarity to keep violence from their streets.’ The brand were apparently ‘inspired to create a calming incense to still the mind’ after the riots took place, in order to remind everyone of the importance of community, a really lovely idea and I’m sure Lush had only the best intentions.

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, Lush, but the cartoons on the bottle totally contradict the message you are trying to get across, there is nothing calming or relaxing about calling your product ‘mob.’

From what I witnessed on TV of the riots, it’s certainly not somewhere I’d expect a beauty brand to take inspiration from. So many lives and businesses were affected as a result of the riots, with some taking years to recover from the loss and damage. It’s just completely distasteful for Lush to profit off the back of such a terrible event.

I can imagine the PR’s and product designers are a little embarrassed today with all the negative tweets and feedback to fight off and some customers are even saying they will never return to the Lush stores.