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Is It OK to Use a Child to Promote a Beauty Brand?

A beauty brand — I won't name names because they don't need the publicity, but this story has more information — is hoping to build buzz by using Malia Obama's upcoming birthday as a PR stunt. They're sending her a $350 basket filled with beauty goods, selling the basket online, and encouraging shoppers to digitally "sign" a birthday card for her. This brand didn't get permission to mention Malia in this pitch, and I find the whole thing pretty tacky. Do you agree that the first daughter should be off limits for companies, or is there a reasonable explanation for this?


Join The Conversation
missyd missyd 8 years
hmm I say its wrong, but then again its also wrong that Obama is more of a 'celebrity' now than half the actual 'celebrities'. Politics is hollywood-ized
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
Pretty tacky. I understand sending products to celebrities secretly to see if they'll endorse it, but this is just using her image without consent.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
Snarky, he could have had them in the audience, etc. He used them in the campaign; he made them public figures. That being said, it's not OK to use someone's image without his or her permission. And, on a side note, it's not a make-up brand, it's a brand that makes skin care items for people with allergies, like Malia.
snarkypants snarkypants 8 years
well said pinkpeony. i don't think it's fair for those of you saying that her parents put her in the spotlight. it's not like jon and hate who purposefully put their kids in the spotlight with the sole purpose of becoming famous. if the kids wouldn't have been on stage at the DNC, etc., all the crazy "secret muslim" believers probably would have thought he shipped them off to a madrassa or something.
Nellllll Nellllll 8 years
I think it's not OK ;)
Gwen-G Gwen-G 8 years
I don't think it's ok
pinkpeonygirl pinkpeonygirl 8 years
Besides the obvious fact that you can't use someones profile without their permission I think it is not done that a child promotes make up. It is bad enough that 14 year models are used to sell clothes for mature women.
cg130 cg130 8 years
I don't think it's disgusting/wrong, but it just seems really weird to me. Like, maybe if she was bit older, I feel like it would seem less weird.
rgrl rgrl 8 years
Disgusting move on the company's part. I am so tired of greedy companies pretending they are doing something nice when all they're really doing is trying to get free advertising.
nikkeeb nikkeeb 8 years
it's just weird though, isnt it??
carlierae26 carlierae26 8 years
Why not? You bring you and your family into the spotlight, things like this will happen. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure this one out. Don't want it to happen, don't become a figurehead.
bornthisway bornthisway 8 years
this really wasn't a smart move on the make up company's part...
HoneyBrown1976 HoneyBrown1976 8 years
Hair, yes. Makeup, hell no.
SalescoopCat SalescoopCat 8 years
This stunt would be warranted if she was old enough to know what she was doing! An eleven year old is too young to be involved with makeup promotions etc. I'm sure there were no bad intentions behind this act-- yet I still do not find it just.
cloroxcowgirl cloroxcowgirl 8 years
That's pretty tacky, I agree. And at 11 she's still too young to be wearing makeup (other than maybe lip gloss) IMO.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
It looks like the gift basket is no longer on their website, though.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
It seems like the company consulted their lawyers pretty carefully on this one. The mention that they sent Malia the gift basket, so they could reasonably say that when they refer to it as "Malia's Gift Basket" they mean "The Gift Basket we sent Malia." It may not sit well with some people, but it really seems like they were careful in their wording so they could stay within the bounds of legality.
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
Marketing and using the President's daughter w/o the President's knowledge is not good. A child promoting nail polish and her parents entered a contract with that company is fine. The lack of knowledge and permission is the issue I have here. If you are making sparkly nail polish or glitter lip gloss and use a child for PR so be it, I see that as ok.
marcied23 marcied23 8 years
yeah, it's not cool to use the president's child as a marketing tool, for one, you're using her name without her permission and without her getting paid for it.
Vsugar Vsugar 8 years
It isn't ok to use A-N-Y-O-N-E to promote a brand without their permission. You can't just use someone's image to sell your product, whether it's with "gifts" or not. If a celebrity takes a grab bag at some event, and then is using the, for instance, blackberry or iPhone that they get in the bag, that was their choice, and the images of them using the device will probably pop up on websites, and it will serve as advertising for the company - the company can't say: "YOU should go buy one because Megan Fox got one in a goody bag, or because we sent her one, unsolicited." This is insane, ridiculous, AND totally illegal. Not only SHOULD they not do this, they CAN'T do this.
polkadots567 polkadots567 8 years
same as advah
reactionary reactionary 8 years
wow, are these people idiots? don't they realize that they are messing with the WHITE HOUSE?
lilkimbo lilkimbo 8 years
However, Malia's parents chose to put her in the spotlight. The Obama girls didn't need to on stage at the DNC.
starangel82 starangel82 8 years
I agree the poll needs more options. I think it's okay for a child to promote a product as long as the child and the parent are okay with it. I also agree with Advah... child stars make the choice to be in the spotlight. I this case, Malia has been put in the spotlight by her father's ambitions.
Advah Advah 8 years
Pretty lame. If the kid is a child star I feel it's different because she chose (or her parents did, but that's a different discussion) to be in the public image. In the case of the Obama girls, their dad is president, not them. I feel bad those two kids will probably be the target of such marketing campaigns for the next few years.
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