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What can marketers learn from the Bioré backlash?
May 26, 2023

Marketing Brew


It’s the Friday before Memorial Day. May you experience an early dismissal and a sunny long weekend, free from KPIs.

In today’s edition:

—Katie Hicks, Jasmine Sheena


Bioré backlash

@cecileemax/TikTok via YouTube @cecileemax/TikTok via YouTube

Last week, skin-care brand Bioré found itself in a bit of hot water after one of its influencer partners mentioned her experience with a school shooting in a sponsored post with the brand.

A video by Michigan State graduate Cecilee Max-Brown, who has worked with Bioré on past campaigns, was part of the brand’s campaign for Mental Health Awareness Month. She mentioned the anxiety and terror that February’s shooting at the university had caused her in a since-deleted TikTok that also promoted Bioré’s pore strips.

“Life has thrown countless obstacles at me this year, from a school shooting to having no idea what life is going to look like after college,” she said in the post. “In support of Mental Health Awareness Month, I’m partnering with Bioré Skincare to strip away the stigma of anxiety.”

Both the brand and Max-Brown have since issued apologies for the post.

Some said this is an example of why brands should pre-approve content before it goes live; however, Bioré had reviewed the content and did not want to place responsibility on the creator.. So what can other brands learn from this experience?

Read the full story here.—KH



Impart an impact


Campaigns come and go, but a few impactful ones make big waves in the deep, wide sea we call marketing. And before we get too philosophical (too late?), you should know that Vimeo is chatting with Semrush about how their latest campaign made an unforgettable splash.

Vimeo hosted Semrush’s Andrew Warden, CMO, and Olga Andrienko, VP of Brand Marketing, to discuss all the details behind the timeline, development, and distribution of their hit campaign video series: My Life, My Terms—The Future of Work.

Learn the risks and rewards of using real customers vs. actors, how B2B campaigns can leverage B2C tactics, the value of remaining ~real~, and what the future holds for this successful series.

Watch their chat for all the insights.


Talkin' with teachers

Yuvay Meyers Ferguson
Yuvay Meyers Ferguson

Yuvay Meyers Ferguson has spent 15 years as a professor of marketing at Howard University. But she didn’t always work in academia; she previously worked at direct marketing agency Grizzard Communications Group and full-service multicultural agency Matlock, working with clients like the American Red Cross.

“I loved what I was doing,” Ferguson told us, explaining that she enjoyed “being able to create something that people would see.” Still, it wasn’t exactly the type of marketing work she wanted to be doing. “I realized that I like thinking and talking about it way more than I like doing it,” she said.

That’s when Howard, who majored in marketing at Howard University before receiving a master’s in public communications from American University, decided to go back to school for another degree: a PhD in advertising from the University of Texas at Austin.

As a professor, she’s taught classes on subjects like brand management and marketing strategy. Her research has focused on several topics, including “generational cohorts in respect to advertising and ad reception.”

Earlier this month, Ferguson announced she would become an executive coach and business consultant, but told us that she would be staying on at Howard as an adjunct professor and consultant. Before that, we sat down with Ferguson to learn more about her career and hear her thoughts on current marketing trends.

Read our conversation here.—JS



Goin’ for a scroll

Dua Lipa @dualipa via Instagram

Each week, Marketing Brew recaps what people are talking about on social media, the trends that took over our feeds, and how marketers are responding.

To the max: HBO Max is now officially Max, and people had thoughts on the transition—some more scathing than others. Here are a few of our favorite responses, including an opportunity well-taken by Peacock.

Between this and people flaming the Bama Rush documentary, it’s been a tough week for Max.

That was…something: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced—or at least tried to announce—his candidacy for president on Twitter Spaces with Elon Musk, only to be met with a series of glitches. It’s almost like nearly anyone could have predicted this.

Barbie girls: Warner Bros. continues to build momentum on the Barbie movie, set to release in July. Artists like Dua Lipa and HAIM posted on TikTok following the release of the soundtrack lineup. Dua Lipa’s song for the movie, “Dance the Night,” was released today. TBD if it becomes TikTok’s next trending sound.—KH



French Press

There are a lot of bad marketing tips out there. These aren’t those.

Deep in the threads: Reddit has new data on how people use the platform for research.

Grid and bear it: How to plan your Instagram layout.

Sales friendly: LinkedIn has new tools for its Sales Navigator dashboard.

Make a mark: What’s the secret to creating video marketing that actually makes a splash? Tune in to Vimeo’s webinar series Debrief and learn how Semrush built a hit series. Sign up here.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.


  • Target CEO Brian Cornell sent a letter to employees “defending his company’s controversial decision to pull LGBTQ celebration merchandise from some Southern stores,” while reaffirming the company’s commitment to the LGBTQ+ community, Insider reported.
  • Nike appears to be continuing its partnership with Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant after he was suspended from team activities over a video in which he was holding what appeared to be a gun.
  • TikTok is toying with its own AI chatbot.
  • YouTube is getting rid of its Stories feature.


  1. The Wall Street Journal went to Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav’s party at Cannes, days after Boston University students chanted “pay your writers” (a reference to the WGA strike) during his commencement speech.
  2. The Atlantic made the case against push notifications.
  3. The New York Times profiled the founder of the brand Flamingo Estate and found, among other things on his property, goats wearing cashmere.


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