Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sinful Colors Behaving Badly

By now most of you reading this will have already heard about how Sinful Colors used photos from nail bloggers without getting permission or giving credit. These photos are in an instructional pamphlet distributed with the big Passion for Color display, and the images on the display itself have models with what appear to be digitally created manicures copied from the bloggers' photos. Whether it was an dumb mistake, sloppy oversight, or deliberate act, this is a wrong that needs to be addressed. Apologies need to be made to the bloggers. Compensation needs to be provided to them. If those things don't happen, I won't feel okay with buying any more Sinful polishes or sharing them or their displays here. I'd feel icky supporting a brand that takes advantage of bloggers. Sinful can make this right; I really hope they do.

There are three nail looks featured in the pamplet and on the display. The one that Sinful calls "Sponge Effect" is a glitter gradient stolen from The Swatchaholic. No Sinful Colors were used in the making of that manicure. Infuriatingly, whomever created the pamphlet removed The Swatchaholic's watermark from the original photo. The "Swirl It" manicure is stolen from Swatch and Learn. Again, no Sinful Colors were used. Stupidly on Sinful's part, the manicure they stole images of is a stamped mani, not accomplished with a toothpick as the accompanying text in the pamphlet instructs. Way to mislead your customers, Sinful. I haven't heard where the third manicure, "Half Moon", came from, nor have my own searches turned up anything on that one. I suppose it's possible it was not stolen from anywhere, but I'm very skeptical at this point.

Sinful doesn't appear to have an official Facebook page or functional website, so contacting them through those venues is a no go. Revlon, who owns Mirage Cosmetics, the company behind the Sinful Colors brand, does have an official Facebook page, and comments there have been blowing up with this issue. The response so far is "...we are so sorry this happened. It was an unintentional mistake. We want you to know we do respect the rights of bloggers and have reached out to Jeanette to apologize and resolve the issue as soon as possible." Having worked in companies that were owned by other companies, I can believe that no one at Revlon knew what was going on with this Sinful campaign and can understand if it takes a while to resolve this theft perpetrated by their sister company. But it does need to be resolved in a manner that the bloggers involved are satisfied with, or there are a lot of nail polish aficionados who will be purging Sinful from their stashes.

There is an online petition created so people can express their desire to have this addressed. I signed. If you haven't and want to, here's the link on change.org.

*****


UPDATE 26-Jul-2012:

Revlon has posted an apology on the official Revlon Facebook page. It states that they have reached out to the two bloggers, will correct the materials, and are putting procedures in place to prevent this sort of thing in the future.

The petition has been closed based on getting the apology from Revlon.

The two bloggers linked above have removed the most/all content from the entries I linked yesterday. I take that as a sign that negotiations are ongoing.

The MUA member who thinks it's her mani in the half moon photo (and based on seeing another photo of her hand, I agree) hasn't found her original post yet (MUA board search is quite limited).

I'm glad to see there's been positive movement on this from Revlon (where Sinful/Mirage is hiding, I have no idea). I am hopeful that it will be resolved to the satisfaction of the bloggers in question; when they announce that's the case, I'll let Sinful polishes back on my blog.

*****

UPDATE 24-Aug-2012: Because this post is still getting hits, I wanted to add a note here that the companies involved have taken some further action. The big display which had the stolen blogger photos has been updated to cover the two images onto which the bloggers' nails had been placed without their permission. The pamphlets with the stolen photos have also been pulled.



I'd still like to hear from the bloggers involved that Sinful has made things right with them personally, but since some positive action was taken, I am going to allow Sinful back onto my blog.


24 comments:

  1. Wow this is huge; I'm astonished. How can that be possible? How do they have such lack of shame! This issue needs to be known!

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  2. This is wrong on so many levels! I really can't even comprehend what they were thinking.

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  3. I should be astounded, but have worked with enough people that don't have a basic inkling of how copyright and intellectual property work that I am not surprised. What does the half-moon manicure look like, because if it isn't stolen I'd be really surprised.

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    1. Nailed It has pictures of the whole brochure on her post about this situation. Looking at the comments there, it seems like maybe the half moon one came from the MakeupAlley nailboard.

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  4. It's unfortunate that these sort of things happen on a person to person level but it's inexcusable when it happens on a business level. I hope that Sinful will do the right thing. I don't own any of their products and I will keep it that way.

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  5. oh, they are really sinful :-p

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    1. i couldn't help but think the same lol

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  6. It looks like they begged for pardon on their FB pages, I just got a notice about it. They mention only Jeanette and Mary but I am pretty sure I've already seen the third picture somewhere, probably someone who didn't stand up to defend her rights so they just ignored her.

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  7. I suppose it's time I should really stop procrastinating and learn how to watermark...even if that doesn't seem like a deterrent in this case.

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    1. There are some easy and free sites that help you. I finally found out myself, but am now afraid to put all my nail art pics online. I've started an online nail diary recently but don't think I'll ever have it public. It's private for my family and friends. 8/

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  8. If a nail blotter did this the corporate lynch mob would have sent out every legal document known to man ordering a cease and desist and treated legal action-Ciate was one. How hard could it have been to reach out to bloggers to use their polishes and photograph for promo use? It's amazing how many of these companies get free press from nail bloggers like us but they stoop this low. It is shameful.

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    1. Freaking auto correct! LOL. *bloggers and *threatened

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  9. First duping DL polishes (and I'm not talking reds and pinks - I mean the very distinctive shades GITA and Bad Romaance) and now this? This unfortunately seems to say that Revlon doesn't feel that the work of bloggers is worth crediting :/ Revlon has a bit of PR magic to work.

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  10. Thanks for the link at change.org Swatchaholic deserves compensation and credit for sure!!! This is horrible. I bought seven bottles earlier in the week and now I'm not sure what to do with them?!

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    1. You can send them to me? (Kidding..) However Revlon has posted what seems to be a sincere apology on their FB.

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  11. I can't say that I'd purge the polishes, the money is already spent. Still, if this isn't resolved to the offended parties' satisfaction then I don't think I would feel right buying any more. Even at 99cents.... *sigh* I really hope they clear this up. :/

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  12. Really shameful what they have done.

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  13. This is just insane! Thanks for the post... I saw a bit on a Facebook group earlier, but wasn't sure 100% what was going on. I'm glad I'm not really a fan of Sinful Colours in the first place, yeesh.

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  14. Hear hear! I hate it when brands do this, especially brands that I like. :/ Hope they'll fix it. They have to, come to think of it. They are pissing of a large % of their customers ATM.

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  15. Well, I'm glad Revlon took some action. I still can't believe that happened in the first place :/

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  16. And thanks for keeping us updated on this debacle!

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  17. Here's the latest update on this:

    http://www.lauramarsipan.com/2012/08/sinful-colors-debacle-update.html

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  18. I work at Walgreens as a beauty advisor and I noticed the nails looked..edited on then fingers, until I read this post about them being stolen. BUT, about 3 days ago...I noticed there's like..stickers? over the old pictures. Like giant pictures. With different nails. The red glitter gradient is now just glittery red and it says (Sinful colors in Sugar Sugar) and the "toothpick swirling" one is a blue french with glitter tips and says "Sinful Colors in Caio Bella and Nail Junkie". The half moon mani, doesnt have a picture stuck over it though..I guess because no owner was found? lol

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