Biore School Shooting : Skincare Brand Bioré Faces Backlash

In the world of influencer marketing, companies often collaborate with social media personalities to promote their products. However, when boundaries are crossed and sensitive topics are exploited for profit, the consequences can be severe. Skincare brand Bioré is currently facing a wave of backlash after an alleged school shooting survivor used her traumatic experience to promote the company’s products in a sponsored TikTok video. This article delves into the controversy surrounding Bioré’s ill-advised collaboration, the public’s response, and the ethical implications of capitalizing on tragic events for promotional purposes. Following !

Biore School Shooting

The Controversial Partnership

Cecilee Max Brown’s Experience and Partnership with Bioré

Cecilee Max Brown, a former Michigan State Volleyball Alum and social media influencer, found herself at the center of a storm when she partnered with Bioré for their Mental Health Awareness Month campaign. In a TikTok video, Brown opened up about her anxiety and the impact it had on her mental health following an alleged school shooting experience. She candidly shared her struggles, stating, “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.”

Bioré goes viral following sponsored post by an alleged school shooting victim that promotes their deep cleansing pore strips.

— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) May 19, 2023

Bioré’s Attempt to Address Mental Health Stigma

The Bioré campaign aimed to raise awareness about mental health issues and combat the stigma associated with anxiety. Brown seamlessly transitioned from discussing her personal ordeal to promoting Bioré’s skincare products, stating, “In support of Mental Health Awareness Month, I’m partnering with Bioré skincare to strip away the stigma of anxiety. We want you to get it all out. Not only what’s in your pores but most importantly what’s on your mind too.”

The Backlash and Public Response

Outrage and Accusations of Exploitation

Following the release of the video, Bioré faced an onslaught of backlash from the public, accusing the brand of capitalizing on school shootings and exploiting Brown’s traumatic experience. Many individuals flooded Bioré’s Instagram account, condemning both the brand and Brown for their involvement. The disabling of comments on Bioré’s social media pages only further fueled the fire, with people asserting that it was an attempt to evade accountability.

Public Reactions to Bioré’s Questionable Actions

One social media user expressed their disgust, stating, “How can you use gun violence to promote your products? This is just absurd.” Another person voiced their dissatisfaction, saying, “Turning off comments doesn’t shield you from accountability. Using mass shootings as a ‘relatable selling point’ is absolutely vile.”

Professor Neil’s Perspective

Professor Neil, a TikTok user known for sharing his insights, weighed in on the controversy surrounding Brown’s video. He expressed his disbelief, stating, “This is not some sort of satirical product placement, but it may be, in fact, evidence that we are living in ‘The Bad Place’.” Professor Neil emphasized the significance of Brown referencing the school shooting three times within the 50-second video, underscoring the insensitivity and questionable motives behind the collaboration.

Ethical Implications and Critical Analysis

Exploitation of Tragic Events for Profit

The partnership between Bioré and Brown raises ethical concerns regarding the exploitation of tragic events, such as school shootings, for profit. By associating a traumatic experience with a skincare campaign, Bioré inadvertently trivialized the severity of the issue and offended many individuals. The use of personal trauma as a marketing strategy is not only morally objectionable but also detrimental to the efforts of mental health advocacy.

Lack of Sensitivity and Accountability

Bioré’s decision to disable comments on their social media platforms only fueled the public’s anger and reinforced the perception of the brand evading accountability. This lack of transparency and refusal to engage in a dialogue with their audience further exacerbated the controversy. In times of crisis, it is crucial for brands to address concerns and show genuine empathy towards those affected.

Impact on Bioré’s Reputation

The fallout from this partnership has undoubtedly damaged Bioré’s reputation. The negative publicity generated by their association with the exploitation of a school shooting survivor will likely have long-term consequences. Rebuilding trust with consumers and addressing the ethical concerns raised will be an uphill battle for Bioré moving forward.


Q1: Was Bioré aware of Cecilee Max Brown’s school shooting experience before the collaboration?

A1: It is unclear whether Bioré was aware of Brown’s school shooting experience before partnering with her for the campaign. However, it is crucial for companies to thoroughly research and vet their collaborators to ensure their experiences are handled with sensitivity.

Q2: Has Cecilee Max Brown responded to the backlash?

A2: Following the intense backlash, Brown has taken down the controversial video and made her social media accounts private. Her silence on the matter leaves many wondering about her perspective and whether she regrets her involvement in the ill-advised collaboration.

Q3: How can brands ensure they do not exploit sensitive topics in their marketing campaigns?

A3: Brands should prioritize empathy, social responsibility, and thorough research when planning marketing campaigns. Engaging in open conversations with their audience, seeking feedback, and addressing concerns promptly are essential steps in avoiding the exploitation of sensitive topics.

Q4: What can consumers do to hold brands accountable for unethical marketing practices?

A4: Consumers have the power to hold brands accountable by voicing their concerns on social media, boycotting products, and supporting companies that align with their values. By making their voices heard, consumers can push for greater transparency and ethical conduct within the industry.

Q5: How can companies recover from a reputation crisis caused by unethical marketing practices?

A5: To recover from a reputation crisis, companies must acknowledge their mistakes, issue a sincere apology, and take concrete steps to rectify the situation. Demonstrating a commitment to change, engaging in open dialogue with consumers, and implementing ethical guidelines can help rebuild trust over time.

Q6: What are the broader implications of exploiting sensitive topics for promotional purposes?

A6: Exploiting sensitive topics for promotional purposes not only damages a brand’s reputation but also undermines the gravity of the issues at hand. It trivializes the experiences of those affected and perpetuates a culture of insensitivity and exploitation in the marketing industry.


The partnership between Bioré and Cecilee Max Brown has ignited a firestorm of controversy, with the public accusing the brand of capitalizing on a school shooting survivor’s trauma for promotional purposes. The backlash serves as a reminder of the importance of ethical marketing practices and the need for brands to exercise sensitivity and social responsibility. By learning from this unfortunate incident, both Bioré and other companies can work towards fostering a culture of compassion, respect, and authenticity in their marketing endeavors.

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