We’ve been punked*!
A few days ago, a sharp-eyed distributor picked up the rather startling similarity between the latest SeneGence flyer advertising their new glittery shimmer eyeliner, and a brochure she picked up from another cosmetic brand, Mahya 🤔
On further digging, we discovered that the photo in question was indeed a stock photo from Shutterstock.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with using stock photos in many circumstances. Beautiful models with flawless skin can advertise many things. It’s an economical and convenient way to get professional photography. But there are definite ethical issues.
For starters, we’re not happy when these photos are representing a product actually in use, or on the model’s face. The clear intimation in this flyer is that THAT is the brush from the EyeSense, and that is their gold eyeliner. It isn’t.
And the best LOL of them all? Look what they did to the image after their ‘Shutterstockiness’ got out there 😂😂😂. (Your Crown is Plastic helped spread the word, thanks girls.)
A dodgy job of duplicating the gold line (and a bit of the brush LOL, geez guys, get someone with some actual Photoshop training &/or skills).
So — rather than admitting, yes, we use stock photos, and here’s why — they alter the image instead to make it look a tiny bit different, more ridiculous, and worse? Seriously, guys?!
We started to dig further, and goodness gracious me. Look what we found …
This is just the tip of the iceberg, too.
So far as we can see, ALL of SeneGence’s promotional material uses stock photos. Apart from the new distributor-designed colours, like First Love (pictured below), which have photos of the distributors who have designed these colours, presumably provided by them.
Stock photos are generally the lazy, cheap or amateur designer’s solution to needing particular photos. A global cosmetics company, that purports to be bringing in ‘billions’, could surely afford to pay a professional photographer to take photos of models actually wearing SeneGence products.
Is that too much to ask? (Apparently it is.)
And even if they are using stock photos, why not pay for exclusive rights so that no-one else can use those images? It is rather disconcerting to see the same images in all sorts of other places.
There are a whole bunch of ethical issues that are raised by this behavior. What is reality? What is advertising? Where do you draw the line?:
“While it is easy to find and purchase high-quality photos, you might alienate readers who think your images are fake or irrelevant if you choose those images poorly.”
YA THINK? Even if the photos have been chosen well, the revelation that they are 'fake' — and NOT any sort of representation of SeneGence products ACTUALLY IN USE — is eroding trust in the company.
Don't try to pass stock photography off as real content. All the filters in the world won't mask that overexposed stock photo feeling.
Don't over photoshop stock imagery. The more photoshopping, the less engagement. If the image is a simple set up, purchase the products and take the image yourself.
Do understand your brand's position. If your client sells food, clothing, or something product-based [LIKE COSMETICS] real content is much more successful.
Customers and distributors alike are seriously pissed off by this. We have been lied to (YET AGAIN) — those photos are NOT of women wearing or using SeneGence products.
We'd be happy to hear SeneGence's explanation for this.
Disclaimer: These are the personal opinions of distributors and ex-distributors, based on our own experiences. Your experience of SeneGence may be different.
*Punked: To get punked is to have a joke played on you, often in a public setting. Ref