Tarte Cosmetics pokes fun at Dubai influencer trip controversy with viral TikTok

By Alessandro Carrara | Published: 26-Jan-2023

TikTok users had called out the Kosé-owned brand for hosting a “tone-deaf” event in Dubai during an economic crisis

Tarte Cosmetics has responded to the recent backlash it received for hosting a lavish influencer event in Dubai with a TikTok video poking fun at itself.

The video shows a person dressed in a mascot costume styled after the brand's Shape Tape Contour Concealer, holding an iced drink and walking through an empty office.

A caption reads: “POV: When you show up for work but the marketing team spent all of our money on a brand trip.”

The video has been viewed more than 2.7 million times and received over 5,000 comments.

“This ad makes me want to buy tarte more than any influencer trip would,” one user commented.

Another added: “Loving how y’all are dealing with the drama the internet is trying to make about your marketing.”

The Kosé-owned brand came under fire on Monday for inviting 50 beauty influencers to an all expenses paid trip to Dubai, in collaboration with Sephora Middle East, to promote Cheek Stain, Tarte's first-ever product.

But TikTok user Lindsay Borow (@lblikes) criticised has called out the make-up brand for hosting a “tone-deaf” event during an economic crisis.

“Like, in this economy and everything, this is just so unrelatable,” she said in a video, which has been viewed over 57,000 times.

A number of commenters called into question the total cost of the event.

One user said it “feels out of touch with the recession and inflation”.

“I can barely afford eggs so I’m not interested in their new product,” another wrote.

Tarte has previously hosted a number of lavish events in previous years under the hashtag #trippinwithtarte.

These included press trips to Costa Rica and Hawaii to mark the launch of new products.

Maureen Kelly, founder and CEO of Tarte cosmetics, issued a response to the backlash on 23 January.

“This isn’t our first trip, but I can, of course, understand how people may have a knee-jerk reaction to seeing content overload like this,” said Kelly in an email to Vogue.

“Every day, brands make decisions about how to spend their marketing budgets. For some companies, that means a huge Super Bowl commercial or a multi-million-dollar contract with a famous athlete or musician,” she added.

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