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Published July 31, 2017
Published July 31, 2017

NARS has made a lot of people very angry. Animal testing of cosmetics is required by law in China, so NARS’ decision to enter the Chinese market ultimately has cost them their cruelty-free status.

People are angry because:

  • NARS is no longer cruelty free
  • NARS wasn’t forthcoming about their decision to sell in China
  • Everyone else is angry, so why shouldn’t they be too?

The public outrage has been widespread, ongoing, and unprecedented; however, at NARS everything has been business as usual. The brand’s one and only response was posted to their Instagram on June 27, and received over 15,000 comments from angry consumers. On Instagram the tag #boycottnars has over 1,000 posts and #stopanimaltesting has over 40,000. Aside from this initial acknowledgment, they refuse to further address the issue, and have continued with their content strategy as if nothing ever happened.

We outlined the chain of events that lead up to this point in our previous post, Behind the NARS Nightmare: From Cruelty Free to Consumer Outrage. Just to recap, here’s what’s happened since.

WHERE DO I SIGN? Hoards of angry consumers are signing a Care2 petition that urges NARS to stick with their commitment to cruelty-free beauty. The petition was created in hopes that if it receives enough signatures, NARS will choose not to sell in China to avoid animal testing. Over 150,000 online signatures flood the webpage, continuing to surpass every set goal. Whether or not this petition will faze NARS in any way is the real question.


On June 30, 3 days after NARS posted their response on Instagram, Kat Von D made a post with visually graphic content of the horrors animals face in cosmetic testing. She expressed that NARS response was a “cop-out statement.” Calling out the brand, she posted “You are NOT at the ‘forefront’ of making change when you consciously choose to test on animals,” adding, “Shame on you for hiding behind such a false marketing statement in order to line your pockets, while countless animals suffer.”

Kat Von D has 6.1 million followers on Instagram. This post alone received over 125,000 likes and 15,000+ comments supporting and thanking Kat while condemning NARS. Kat Von D obviously cares deeply about this cause considering her own makeup line is completely vegan and cruelty free. We don’t doubt her compassion for animals, but we do recognize the clear marketing opportunity Kat is taking advantage of. She’s hijacking the NARS news, condemning her competition, and painting her own brand in the heroic light of cruelty-free avenger. Where NARS falters, KVD Beauty flourishes.

VLOGGERS USE THEIR VOICE Social sharing around the fiasco has taken over YouTube. These vloggers are spreading the news to their followers, detailing what dupes they should replace their NARS products with, and encouraging them to speak out against animal testing themselves.

  • JKissa’s NARS dupe video has received 95K+ views from her 267K strong subscriber count.
  • European vlogger John Kuckian expressed that “this is really just a greedy decision and [NARS] are sugar coating something that’s actually quite horrible.” Kuckian has a 310K subscriber audience and this video received over 104K views.
  • Cassandra Bankson, a vegan beauty YouTuber with 803K followers, explains in her own video that “after a lot of people were asking NARS to be transparent, they came out and admitted that since they were acquired by Shiseido, their plan is to sell in China, and that they will not only be supporting animal testing in the future, but they have been ever since the acquisition.” This video has over 38K views.
  • Karina Kaboom (with 61K followers) says, “Why do you think that they have made their products available in China? It is not to further their artistry. Please, cry me a river, okay NARS? It is to make the money from China,” adding “I agree with Kat, that is a cop-out statement.” This video has over 52K views.
  • Flourishxo put out a video detailing how the NARS news actually made her decide to go cruelty free. She says “Oh my gosh NARS, what a bunch of hypocrites you are. You’re saying that the global elimination of animal testing needs to stop, yet you’re one of the reasons that it continues.” Flourishxo has 18K subscribers and this video has 800 views and counting.
  • NARS Cosmetics latest YouTube video has a few comments under it. Every single comment is a negative remark about the brand’s decision to sell in China. Not a single comment is about the actual content of the video.

CRUELTY-FREE EXPANSION A new report from Market Research Future details how “consumers find the testing on animals unethical and have started spreading awareness against the act.” The report also cites Kat Von D Beauty as a key player in the US cruelty-free beauty market. Consumers want cruelty-free beauty, and are making their voice heard across social media platforms.

NUMBERS ADD UP The power and reach of the micro-influencer has been harnessed with countless Instagrammers and YouTubers boycotting NARS and persuading their following to do the same. The question of whether or not people will put their money where their mouth is has yet to be answered, but regardless, the number of consumers reached by these influencers is staggering.

  • If you add up the number of views the YouTube videos mentioned above received, they total 289,800.
  • Adding on the 130,000 who have signed the petition and the 125,000 who liked Kat Von D’s post, the total rises to a staggering 564,800. That’s over a half a million people who have shown some sort of anti-NARS sentiment.
  • If you factor in the total follower/subscriber count of the influencers mentioned, you get a staggering 7,659,000 possible impressions.
  • NARS has only 4.6 million followers on Instagram, and about 40,000 subscribers on YouTube.

TAKE IT TO THE STREETS Yesterday, the #boycottnars became more than just an online movement when protesters gathered at NARS Cosmetics Boutique on Melrose Ave in West Hollywood California. Signs read “NARS Bunny Killers,” “I Kissed Animal Tested Cosmetics Goodbye,” and “Stop Animal Testing.” This protest took the anti NARS sentiment out from behind the computer screen and into the streets for some IRL boycotting action.”Protesting NARS cosmetics decision to enter the Chinese market which will mean innocent animals will be subject to cruel and tortuous unnecessary lab tests,” said one protester who shared images of the demonstration on social media.

The power of influence has wreaked havoc on the companies public image. Consumers are petitioning, protesting and speaking out in high volume against them. Let’s hope for their sake that the profits they gain from entering the Chinese market are worth the mess they’ve left in America.

Read how all this began: Behind the NARS Nightmare: From Cruelty Free to Consumer Outrage and find out how you can avoid a crisis like this for your own brand: You Say “Crisis,” I Say “Situation”: No Matter What You Call It, Plan To Have A Plan


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