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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Johnson

The Case of the Missing Charlotte Tilbury Lipsticks: Brilliant PR Stunt or Mistake?

Updated: Mar 5

Large lipstick box
Giant lipstick PR box sent to influencers

In the world of beauty, PR campaigns often aim to captivate audiences, leaving them eagerly anticipating new product launches. However, when British makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury’s latest PR campaign left influencers puzzled by missing lipsticks, speculation ran rampant. Was it a strategic marketing ploy or an unintended mistake? Let’s delve into the mystery.

The Build-Up

Charlotte Tilbury, renowned for her luxurious beauty products, teased fans with tantalizing glimpses of her latest lipstick "Hollywood Beauty Icon" collection across social media platforms. Anticipation grew as followers eagerly awaited the unveiling of the highly anticipated shades.

The Twist

Excitement quickly turned to confusion as influencers received their boxes and discovered that all of the lipsticks were conspicuously absent from the box, only the lip liners were present. Social media buzzed with speculation, with some questioning whether this was a deliberate tactic or an unforeseen mishap.

Marketing Ploy Perspective

From a strategic standpoint, the missing lipsticks take on a new dimension when considering Charlotte Tilbury's TikTok campaign titled "Who Stole the Lipsticks?" This campaign, characterized by playful and mysterious content, added another layer to the narrative, suggesting that the absence of the lipsticks was part of a deliberate marketing strategy rather than a mere oversight.

By framing the missing lipsticks as a captivating mystery to be solved, Charlotte Tilbury cleverly engaged audiences and encouraged them to participate in the conversation surrounding the product launch. The TikTok campaign created buzz and anticipation, further fueling speculation and interest in the brand's latest offerings.

However, critics might argue that this approach may have trivialized the issue of missing products and undermined consumer trust. By turning a potential production error into a playful marketing stunt, Charlotte Tilbury risked alienating customers who were genuinely disappointed by the incomplete collection. Moreover, the TikTok campaign may have overshadowed the brand's responsibility to address concerns about product availability and transparency.

In essence, while the TikTok campaign added an element of intrigue to the missing lipsticks saga, it also raised questions about the ethics of turning potential mishaps into marketing opportunities. As consumers become increasingly discerning, brands must strike a delicate balance between creativity and accountability in their marketing strategies to maintain trust and loyalty among their audience.

Mistake Perspective

On the other hand, skeptics argue that the absence of the lipticks may have been an unintentional oversight or production issue. Additionally, critics raised concerns about the environmental impact of Charlotte Tilbury's packaging choices. The oversized boxes shaped like giant lipsticks not only contributes to excess material waste but also raises questions about sustainability and eco-consciousness. In an era where consumers are increasingly prioritizing eco-friendly practices, such packaging decisions could alienate environmentally conscious customers and reflect poorly on the brand's commitment to sustainability.

The plot thickened when influencers who initially received incomplete packages were later sent evidence bags containing the missing lipsticks. This intriguing development added a dramatic twist to the narrative, suggesting that the missing lipsticks were part of an elaborate marketing scheme orchestrated by Charlotte Tilbury herself.

Influencers, known for their close partnerships with brands, found themselves at the center of the mystery. Some speculated whether influencers were complicit in the scheme, willingly participating in a staged controversy to generate buzz and intrigue around the product launch. After all, it's not unheard of for influencers to collaborate with brands on unconventional marketing strategies designed to capture audience attention. Plus, would they risk damaging their credibility by participating in a negative video or narrative about a brand with which they have a partnership? But then again, while influencers are typically seen as brand advocates, their primary allegiance is to their audience, and they may prioritize transparency and authenticity in their content.

Ultimately, whether influencers were aware of the orchestrated narrative or not, the incident raises broader questions about the intersection of influencer marketing and brand authenticity. As consumers increasingly demand transparency and honesty from both brands and influencers, collaborations must navigate a delicate balance between promotional content and genuine consumer engagement to maintain trust and credibility in the eyes of the audience.

Final Thoughts

The disparity in the distribution of products among influencers adds another layer to the discussion. While some influencers received boxes containing the complete range of lipsticks, others were left with gaps in their collections. This inconsistency in distribution not only fueled speculation but also highlighted potential disparities in the brand's influencer marketing strategies. Such discrepancies can undermine the credibility of influencer partnerships and breed mistrust among consumers who value authenticity and transparency in brand collaborations.

Influencers who were disappointed by the missing lipsticks may feel let down by the brand's perceived lack of transparency or attention to detail. Such missteps can erode trust and tarnish the brand's reputation, potentially overshadowing the excitement surrounding the product launch.

In the case of Charlotte Tilbury's missing lipsticks, the truth may lie somewhere between intentional marketing ploy and unintended mistake. While the brand may have strategically leveraged the mystery to generate buzz and drive sales, it's also possible that unforeseen challenges led to the absence of lipsticks in some of the boxes.

Personally, I think it sounds like a mistake as the TikTok response campaign seemed rushed and not very polished. But, maybe that was their aim. What do you think? Weigh in the comments.


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2 則留言

Ruby Anderson Henley

It sounds like a mistake to me and a ham handed way of covering it up. Surely the Brand could have designed a more sophisticated way to cash in on the mistake than they did. The influencers who did not receive the lipsticks while others did must be angry and feel singled out.

Michelle Johnson
Michelle Johnson

I agree. It just seemed fishy. Some people say they are taking digs at Elf who has a similar (but more polished) campaign. I could see someone making a mistake and them spinning it so it looked deliberate. Thanks for sharing your opinion!

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