Social media is usually a beauty company’s best friend. Except when it’s not. Like, say, when the person running a product’s accounts allegedly replies to users’ criticisms by making personal attacks. Z Palette, the makers of magnetic palette products is feeling the effects of just such a comment war, and some are calling for a boycott.
According to Seventeen.com, Twitter posts promoting the Z Potter, an electric device for melting makeup into palette pots, received comments complaining about its price ($85). Screen shots taken of since-deleted tweets seem to show the company striking back rather harshly with @replies like, “Thank god we don’t need your money,” and, “You look like a cheap date, but we’re not messing with you.”
Soon, readers called out the company for online bullying. Eventually, professional makeup artists and vendors chimed in to say they did not support Z Palette and pledged to stop using its products.
Then Z Palette fanned the flames further with a lengthy Instagram that has since been deleted, but is here in a screenshot. It recounts how Zena Shteysel founded the company and defends the pricing of the Z Potter. It also accuses critics of making negative comments to “jump on the bandwagon” or “get followers.”
“It’s easy to be fearful of the wrath of the customer, or the wrath of the influencer, especially in today’s media fetishized society,” the post said. “But we will stand by our products as we will stand by our customers.”
That certainly didn’t help matters, and Shteysel later told Seventeen.com that the post was deleted because when they disabled comments, some angry users went after the CEO’s personal account instead. After days of this controversy, Shteysel defended her company to Seventeen.com, without apologizing.
“We did not bully anyone; we don’t condone bullying of any kind,” she said. “Anyone who has interacted with us knows that. Our customers know that. We took a stand against the insensitive (and unsolicited) comments that were being hurled at our company and at (makeup) companies in general. The images floating around social media show you what Z Palette allegedly wrote but make no mention of the posts that triggered the response.”
Not everyone is a critic, Shteysel said. “We received and continue to receive an overwhelming number of responses from people, customers, etc. that stand by us and support us,” she added. “We are here for you, and our resolve to give you the best is now even stronger.”