Bath bombs vs Big Tech: behind Lush’s Black Friday stand-off

By Kirsty Doolan

- Last updated on GMT

All money made from the sale of Lush's The Cloud bath bomb will go towards the People vs Big Tech organisation
All money made from the sale of Lush's The Cloud bath bomb will go towards the People vs Big Tech organisation

Related tags Lush Technology digital Innovation Body care Black friday Marketing

As part of the company’s ‘Big Tech Rebellion’, this Black Friday Lush will donate all profits from a limited-edition bath bomb to decentralised organisation People vs Big Tech.

The British cosmetics company said the move is to raise money for their work “to rein in the handful of Big Tech companies that have monopolised the Internet with intrusive surveillance, predatory addictive-algorithms, harmful content and echo chambers.”  

The Cloud Bath Bomb (priced £6.50) – which the company dubbed “a swirling cloud of soothing rose and uplifting Sicilian lemon oil” ​– will launch on Black Friday across its ecommerce sites in the UK, Ireland, US, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

Big Tech companies "rake in huge profits" on Black Friday

According to Lush’s Global Brand Director Annabelle Baker: “Black Friday is generally a time when the Big Tech companies rake in huge profits, but at what cost? It’s important that we campaign at this critical time of year to fund movements like People vs Big Tech who are providing a pathway to a future without surveillance advertising or predatory algorithms and putting the control back into the hands of the people.”

In its campaign, Lush has highlighted an Amnesty International report​ that revealed that 71% of people are worried about how tech companies collect and use their personal data and wanted to see more regulation in this area.

The cosmetics company also conducted a report in collaboration with trends forecasting and insights specialists The Future Laboratory, which discovered that 65% of people quizzed didn’t want social media brands using their data for commercial benefit, while 70% of people were calling for global legislation that protects the safety of people online.

"Like a bunch of feudal kings"

Founder of People vs Big Tech Tanya O’Carroll, said that people are now standing up to take charge of their privacy and data: "For years, a handful of tech billionaires have been running the internet like a bunch of feudal kings, harvesting and profiting from our data while their platforms wreak havoc on everything from mental health to democracy. But an amazing generation of young leaders are fighting back, united by a vision for a better online world — where children are protected from deliberately addictive apps, where we can go online and trust what we’ll see in our feeds, where we can learn, explore and connect with loved ones without being relentlessly spied on.” 

In March 2023, Lush announced it was undertaking a rebellion against Big Tech, while prior to this it had stopped using mainstream social media platforms for brand communication and content marketing purposes.  

Speaking on the company’s bigger picture stance, Chief Digital Officer Jack Constantine said that Lush had announced its ‘anti-social’ policy where it removed the brand from from Meta platforms, TikTok and Snapchat on Black Friday two years ago. 

"Since then we’ve taken our stance against Big Tech even further by embarking on our Digital Divestment roadmap and pushing back against the stranglehold the Big Tech 5 have on our business, our families and our communities,"​ he said.

"We’re thrilled to be working with People vs Big Tech this Black Friday, as the time has come to start actively campaigning for legislative change and enforcement to level the playing field and take back some of the control that the Big Tech companies have.” 

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