Breaking News: MAC Decides Not to Ship Rodarte Collection!

Monday, August 16, 2010

14 comments
The end to the whole MAC-Rodarte saga has come. In my previous posts HERE and HERE, I talked first about how and why the collection was in bad taste (in my opinion at least), and in the second post, I talked about what concrete steps we can take to help the women of Juarez. I thought the controversy died down when MAC said they would donate all proceeds to charities to help the women of Juarez, but MAC has gone one step further.

MAC has just posted on their Facebook wall about half an hour ago that they would not be shipping out the Rodarte Collection.

Here is the text of the Facebook wall post:

M·A·C Decides Not to Ship M·A·C Rodarte Makeup Collection Out of Respect for Women & Girls of Juárez and their Families
by MAC Cosmetics on Monday, August 16, 2010 at 5:27pm

This decision will not impact M·A·C 's commitment to donate all of its projected profits from the collection to benefit the women and girls of Juarez.

Out of respect for the people of Mexico, the women and girls of Juarez and their families, as well as our M·A·C Mexican staff and colleagues, M·A·C has made the decision not to ship the M·A·C Rodarte limited edition makeup collection. This decision will have no impact on M·A·C's commitment to donate all of its projected global profits from this collection to local and international groups that work to improve the lives of the women and girls of Juarez. We are currently conducting due diligence to ensure we donate to organizations with a proven record of directly supporting the women and girls of Juarez.

M·A·C and Rodarte are deeply and sincerely sorry and we apologize to everyone we offended. We have listened very closely to the feedback of concerned global citizens. We are doing our very best to right this wrong. The essence of M·A·C is to give back and care for the community and Rodarte is committed to using creativity for positive social change. We are grateful for the opportunity to use what we have learned to raise awareness on this important issue.


Click HERE to see the actual Facebook note that MAC put up on it's wall.

I was satisfied when MAC offered to donate all proceeds to charities, because they would then no longer be profiting from the controversy they caused, and most of the controversy died down after they announced that. So this is a step I certainly didn't anticipate! While I am happy they are pulling the collection, I hope this pulling of the collection doesn't result in them donating any less!

Hai, my name is Drama, I iz refuze to die!
(Image from the Independent, credited to MAC)
(Can you tell I'm weary of being slammed for expressing my own opinions on this issue?)


At the same time, (being a girl with a major in Economics and a masters in Management), a side of me cynically wonders if MAC just plans to repackage the items, rename them, and re-release them in another collection. If this is the case, it would leave a bad taste in my mouth, because it would seem like they are still trying to make money off these items. Bear in mind that the collection was slated to launch in September, so these collection items would already have been manufactured a long time before, and if they weren't sold, it would mean a dip in MAC's profits.

I can't help but wonder if this is their way of still trying to turn a profit from these items by re-selling them under another name. Furthermore, in place of the planned launch of the collection that would see all profits go to charity, MAC would now just donate an arbitrary amount to charity. From what I've been told, MAC is donating the "projected profits" from the collection, and when it comes to projecting profits from such a controversial collection, your guess is as good as mine. The exact amount to donate would then just be a number of MAC's choosing, and this makes me feel uncomfortable.

If this is what they are going to do, re-sell the products under another name and make money from them, while just choosing an arbitrary amount to give to charity (anyone remember the $100,000 they initially offered?), then I just hope that they donate a decent amount (not just $100,000!). However at the same time I do see how pulling the entire collection altogether is more considerate for MAC employees with Mexican ties or heritage - how is a MAC salesgirl with Mexican relatives going to sell this collection at the counter? It would be tough for her, and I imagine she'd rather not have to sell the collection altogether.

So I guess my feelings on this issue are somewhat ambivalent. I'm happy they're not shipping the collection, but I do have concerns about how much they'll be donating to charity. What are your thoughts on the issue?

14 comments:

  1. Hm. Of course there is another aspect. The actual ingredients in cosmetics probably only cost a few pennies. The packaging costs more. So how expensive must it be to ditch a collection at this point? Maybe not as much as we think. The women of Juarez still get a bad deal whichever way you look at it and MAC should have known better in the first place.

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  2. I'm confused by the fact they made 2 different annoucements regarding what they were going to do for Juarez and now end up cancelling it all? I'm thinking they must have received threats of legal action or something like that, I don't see why they would cancel it otherwise because the fact they were going to give the benefit to Juarez would actually have made this collection a best-selling one.
    And yes, I'm thinking some of that stuff will resurface sooner or later with another name. Or maybe it will leak and will be sold for sky high prices to people who want collector items?

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  3. MAC should have known better, but I am glad that they are pulling the line

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  4. I'm so glad that they're pulling this, really. It was in horrendous taste.

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  5. Wow. This whole situation is kind of weird...

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  6. I think the best way is to have MAC send all the products on that collection to one/ few charity for free and have the charity run an auction or sell them at their charity shop, so that the charity organisation can gain all the profit from that instead.
    K.

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  7. That's the same thought when I read that they're still planning to donate their projected profits towards charity. My guess is that the controversy will die down in a millisecond now that they're pulling the collection and they will probably choose a number that their superiors feel they can get away with and that'll be the end of it. How ridiculous. Seems like a bad publicity stunt to me, but I could just be too cynical.

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  8. im a person that lives across juarez.. and i think that this whole thing is silly. for once i thought that someone was going to bring positve light to a city that is sruggling.. rodarte sisters were the whole thr brains behind this.. they picked the names and everything.. they barely let MAC participate.. besides who praises MAC for raising $180 million dollars for viva glam??? juarez does not need a collection for bad publicity, everyday citizens of juarez are on the news for choppin some ones head off. they are cretaing this on their not because of an artistic collection

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  9. this is the first i've heard of this but i can't help but be cynical .. surely this means loss of profits, etc?.. As a lovely gesture as it is, I'm sure they'll waste no time in earning the money back one way or another.

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  10. Hello - first post but I've been following a while! I'm not Mexican, but am a Mexico specialist and I've spent a lot of time there... and to me, it seems that the girl in the photo with the black eyes is clearly trying to mimic a Catrina, a traditional Mexican dressed-up skeleton, like so http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_Calavera_Catrina .

    I agree that there have been tasteless aspects to the issue (e.g. being "inspired" by the conditions) but I do think it's because they are confusing the Catrina heritage (the traditional Mexican worship of death) with the topical issue of Juárez.

    And as a result, Mexicans might not view this so badly. Death is an important part of Mexican folklore. It depends on which aspect of the story you choose to emphasise, I suppose. As a publicity stunt it's very clever indeed.

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  11. I give it three months before we see it repackaged and sold as something else. Just in time for Christmas...

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  12. I see nothing wrong with them repackaging the products and renaming them, and releasing them under another collection. As long as they don't bear the Rodarte product names, I really don't understand why anyone else should have a problem with that, either, since the products themselves are not offensive. I also think it's very commendable that MAC is still donating to charity, despite cancelling the collection.

    I hope everyone will just give MAC a break now. They have responded very quickly to the controversy surrounding this collection and tried very hard to make things right. Let's all focus on the positive work MAC does for social causes now, which I feel have been completely forgotten about in the midst of this controversy.

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  13. I agree with both Rina and Anon. The controversy of the actual add is ridiculous if you know about Mexican culture, but I believe that was the only real research the RODARTE!nitwits thought through. Why are not angry at RODARTE? WE should be furious and voice are disgust LOUDLY against these designers. WE need to voice this so they do not get positive press or profit until they do their part since they are the true perpetrators. MAC is simply cleaning up their shit storm. I'm not saying that the anger isn't justified towards MAC. They should have done their research as well.This was just a poorly conceived collection. And just people know RoDARTE isn't a nobody brand they are PRAISED by the CFDA for being creative geniuses and their clothes are always seen on celebrities. Comparing their names towards NARS collection names is ridiculous as well. Sex doesn't hurt anyone (unless you want it to (or your infected)).THEY truely need to be punished or at least scolded at. I really hope that people don't forget this major PROBLEM because the number isn't 500 women its actually 5000! If our circumstances were different, that could very much be our mother, sister, daughter or cousins that could have gone missing. Whatever your politics may be, Violence against women from ANY walk of LIFE is NEVER okay

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