June 9, 2016
Beauty marketer Lancôme has reopened its stores in Hong Kong following temporary closures due to the backlash caused by canceling a promotional concert headlined by a pro-democracy singer.
The brand had arranged a performance featuring Denise Ho, a pop star and activist who was arrested as part of a demonstration in support of free elections in Hong Kong in 2014. Responding to online pressure from Mainland China, Lancôme made the choice to cancel the concert on Sunday, June 5, a move that has only served to create a new layer of dissent.
In an attempt to quell negativity surrounding it, the brand issued a statement, saying, “Hong Kong actress Denise Ho is not a spokesperson of Lancôme. We are sorry for the confusion caused. Thank you for your continuous support of Lancôme.”
Lancôme decided to pull the plug on the sold-out June 19 event, and it issued a second statement.
“Lancôme pays utmost attention to its fans. The aim of the Energizing Factory Event is to create a happy and relaxing neighborhood event. However, due to possible safety reasons, Lancôme has decided to cancel the event.
“We are deeply sorry for the disappointment and for any inconvenience this may cause” (see story).
On Wednesday, June 8, the beauty brand closed its shops in Hong Kong due to protesters who had gathered. The protesters feel that Lancôme gave in to the pressures of Mainland China by canceling Ms. Ho’s performance.
Lancôme Juicy Shaker lip product
Protesters carried yellow umbrellas, the symbol of Hong Kong’s democracy movement, as well as posters in Chinese, English and French. At Lane Crawford’s Causeway Bay location protesters shouted “L’Oreal! No self-censorship.”
Those protesting have also called for consumers to boycott products made by L’Oreal, Lancôme's parent brand.