It looks like CoverGirl cosmetics has inadvertently found itself in the middle of a bad PR moment thanks to the NFL.
The legenday beauty company started this campaign for women football fans. Smart, right? Because as ESPN commentator Hannah Storm recently noted, 45 percent of football fans are women. But in the wake of current football domestic abuse and violence stories, someone did a little photoshop work and came up with the image you see here. Now in light of how many women love NFL football, it’s not a surprise that the cosmetics company came up with a campaign to entice those fans to come over to the CoverGirl brand. But try to find the site today for this particular campaign? It’s currently “under maintenance” and nowhere to be found.
No one is blaming CoverGirl for the series of stories that have been plaguing the NFL for weeks — Ray Rice and his wife Janay, Adrian Peterson “disciplining” his four-year-old son with a switch, and Commissioner Ray Goodell on the verge of being fired for his inability to comprehend the tone-deafness with which he and others have handled these stories. But CoverGirl seems to be concerned about its own PR black eye.
The “beauty shot” with the black eye is being shared all around the online world with the hashtag #GoodellMustGo. That has to be a business nightmare for a makeup brand that has long been associated with wholesome, girl-next-door looks. I’m waiting for CoverGirl to take this lemon and turn it into lemonade. I’d bet money that its marketing team is hard at work and probably pulling a bunch of all-nighters, to create its own domestic abuse awareness campaign. How they can do that and distance themselves from their affiliation with the NFL, I’m not sure.
What I do know is this — there is so much competition in the world of beauty products, that CoverGirl is not going to let this slide and they will find a way to turn this to their advantage. Fingers crossed that whatever the makeup company decides to do will have an element of helping domestic abuse victims in a genuine way, and that CoverGirl will distance itself from this current drama.
UPDATE: After this piece was written, the following message was posted on CoverGirl’s Facebook page:
“As a brand that has always supported women and stood for female empowerment, COVERGIRL believes domestic violence is completely unacceptable. We developed our NFL program to celebrate the more than 80 million female football fans. In light of recent events, we have encouraged the NFL to take swift action on their path forward to address the issue of domestic violence.”
Joanne Bamberger is an independent journalist and journalism entrepreneur who is also the author of the book Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America. She is the founder and publisher of the The Broad Side. You can find her on Twitter at @jlcbamberger. Also, follow The Broad Side on Twitter at @The_Broad_Side and on Facebook!