One of my favorite makeup brands is Lime Crime. Their products are cruelty free and highly pigmented in a rainbow of unique colors. I’m also a sucker for unicorns on packaging. But when a friend told me Lime Crime received a warning from the FDA, I immediately stopped using all of their products. This was no Internet rumor set for debunking on Snopes. She sent me a link to an FDA letter warning Lime Crime about unsafe ingredients in one of their most popular lipsticks.
Lime Crime claims that the ingredients in question were incorrectly printed on their boxes. But in any case, until the issue is resolved with the FDA, how can their loyal customers feel comfortable?
Lime Crime has taken a reactive approach to the crisis. A very active brand on social media, Lime Crime continued to post promos for their makeup for several weeks, as if nothing had happened. But when you have a vocal fan community of 1.6 million followers on Instagram, nearly 700k on Facebook, and more elsewhere, your strategy can’t be to hide and hope it all blows over.
I’ll give Lime Crime credit. Earlier this week, they started responding to some of the concerned customer comments on social. Here’s just a small peek at one of those conversations.
The brand’s response hasn’t been enough to quell concerns. And now, Lime Crime has gone silent on social. The company prepared a statement on the safety issue, but it can only be accessed through a direct link, which was only shared in reply to several comments on social.
I doubt Lime Crime had a crisis communications plan in place before the FDA incident. Product safety is an issue that should definitely be on the list for any company in their industry. Unfortunately, they haven’t addressed the issue in a way that makes consumers think they are taking it seriously instead of, as the brand said, sweeping it under the rug. In the meantime, my lipsticks will be swept under the rug too.