In part 77, we talked about Lush’s campaign related to the undercover police officers nicknamed “spy cops,” and how upset many of the public were. A little while ago, I received this email from a Lush staff member.
Hello,I am currently a sales assistant working in a UK store. I’ve been following The Smell of Bullshit ever since I started to find my own store’s management getting steadily worse. This morning I received the following e-mail forwarded from the management, entitled “Campaign Solutions”:Hey everyone,In what seems like a life time ago, I took the chance to catch up with Mark at the summer meeting about the Spy Cops campaign and shared some of my thoughts about what happened. I think we all know that the way the public (or at least a selective few members of the public) acted in a way which put our teams in a very uncomfortable position. Whilst it would be amazing if those people could learn from their actions and change the way they behaved to our teams now that the campaign has passed, it seems unlikely. Instead I asked Mark what we can be doing as a company to better prepare our stores, our teams, and ourselves to be able deal, in full or partially, with the fallout that ensued.So this is what I am emailing for as Mark has asked me to put together a list of what we think we need. It might be that you feel that we can’t prepare ourselves and we just have to show resilience and bounce back from the negativity. Or you may think that there is a lot more; resources, training, etc etc. Whatever your opinion, I would be grateful if you could share the following Google Form with your teams so that we can see a big picture of what the staff on the front line think.[Link redacted]The form is anonymous so staff should be as honest and solutions focused as they want to be.Once I have a good variety of answers, I will pass this back onto Mark an the campaigns team.Thanks in advance everyone and if you have any questions, then let me know.You’ll notice, of course, that there’s no suggestion that the badly-thought out campaign and deliberately inflammatory advertising is at all to blame. No doubt as sales assistants we’re supposed to be responsible for trying to explain the campaign in full to irate customers. I’m sure all the customers Lush has managed to upset will be entirely fine with taking all the blame for Mark’s self-righteousness. And as a staff member just trying to do an honest day’s work, I not thrilled with the prospect of having to just suck it up the next time Mark makes my day that much more difficult while he has everyone else clear up his mess.This e-mail annoyed me enough to feel that Lush customers ought to see it. I’m fine with it being posted on your blog, if you want to do so, though with the usual riders of anonymity from my side. Much as I don’t like to be here, I do still need this job.Thank you for time and the effort put into the blog,