A ‘dumb’, ‘confusing’ and ‘horrendously poor’ marketing stunt has backfired for skincare brand Ecostore which issued a fake product recall as a way to encourage recycling of its bottles.
The popular New Zealand skincare brand was slammed for its Facebook and Instagram posts on Monday, which advised ‘customers that all bottles have been permanently recalled’.
The post, which added ‘more details to be announced soon’, left customers questioning what was going on, whether the products were safe to use and ultimately anger when they found out they had been duped.
The company has since changed its advice, telling customers not to worry and that ‘all Ecostore products are completely safe’.
The marketing ploy was attacked by some angry users online, who accused the company of ‘scaremongering and causing unnecessary worry’.
One Facebook user said ‘good luck to all the supermarkets getting flooded with people wanting to take their product back due to a ‘recall’. What a horrendously poor marketing tactic. I’d be rethinking your marketing team if this is what they come up with’ and added ‘shame on you Ecostore’.
‘Recall? I’m using the laundry liquid for my newborn’s clothing!! Why are the products being recalled???!!’ another commented.
‘Very confusing and conflicting – is this a marketing strategy or a legitimate recall of product? I use your product in my business so if I need to pull everything I need to know ASAP,’ a third Facebook user said.
Ecostore responded to concerns and complaints by explaining that the purported ‘recall’ was merely to spark interest in the company’s recycling strategy.
‘We have no intention of scaring people – our products are completely safe to use. The Permanent Bottle Recall is designed to grab attention and provides an opportunity for New Zealanders to work together to take pressure off Aotearoa’s overwhelmed recycling system. Simply finish the product and hold on to your bottle. All information will be revealed this Wednesday on recall.ecostore.com,’ one of the social media team’s responses read.
To clarify ‘recall’ concerns, Ecostore’s landing page linked to the Facebook and Instagram posts that read: ‘There is nothing wrong with Ecostore products. We just want our bottles back.’
It goes on to say the team issued a permanent bottle recall ‘to change the way they are recycled’ as ‘they are contributing to a recycling system that is overloaded.
Ecostore Group CEO Paul Kraus told the New Zealand Herald customers had ‘no need to worry’ as the products were ‘completely safe’.
‘The Permanent Bottle Recall campaign highlights an opportunity for New Zealanders to work together to take the pressure off our overwhelmed recycling system and present a new solution for how we manage our plastic bottles,’ Mr Kraus said in a statement.
‘There is no need to worry about our products – they’re completely safe. The Permanent Bottle Recall is designed to get people’s attention, to highlight the urgency of a very serious problem and demonstrate how Kiwis can be part of the solution.
‘On Wednesday morning, alongside Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage, we’ll be announcing how we plan to recall our bottles for reuse.’
Daily Mail Australia has reached out to Ecostore for comment.