Ulta Pauses Advertising with Teen Vogue Over Editor’s Tweets

Inside beauty retailer Ulta. Getty Images.

The controversy around the past statements of incoming editor Alexi McCammond continues to create problems for Condé Nast’s youth title.

The Daily Beast reported on Wednesday that beauty retailer Ulta halted an advertising campaign reportedly worth seven figures with the publication.

“Diversity and inclusion are core values at Ulta Beauty — and always have been,” said a representative for Ulta in a statement. “Our current spend with Teen Vogue is paused as we work with Condé Nast to determine next steps regarding our partnership.”

The publisher announced the appointment of McCammond, 27, on Friday. In the subsequent days, she was criticised on social media for tweets from 2011 that included Asian stereotypes. McCammond first apologized for the tweets when they first resurfaced online in 2019. The response now comes amidst a wave of activism against anti-Asian hate crimes and discrimination, and following a year during which Condé Nast was openly criticised for discrimination and lack of diversity in its ranks.

Teen Vogue’s staff condemned the tweets on Monday and called for an “internal conversation” in a statement several editors published on social media. They also shared their concerns with the publisher’s executives in a letter. McCammond apologised in a statement sent to the staff and shared with BoF. “There’s no excuse for language like that,” she wrote. And on Tuesday, the Teen Vogue Instagram account posted a joint statement from McCammond and the staff, stating that they had had “frank, thoughtful, and real conversations” and were “excited” to work together.

But fallout online continues. Editor Diana Tsui, formerly of New York Magazine’s The Cut and one of the first people to post about McCammond’s tweets over the weekend, criticized Condé Nast’s response, calling for a public apology from McCammond and for the publisher to “demonstrate their willingness to learn and change.”

That public apology came on Wednesday night. McCammond published a letter addressed to Teen Vogue’s “community, staff, readers, writers, photographers, content creators, and friends,” and apologized for “my past racist and homophobic tweets,” she wrote. “I am so sorry to have used such hurtful and inexcusable language. At any point in my life, it’s totally unacceptable.” McCammond asked the Teen Vogue community to “judge us based on the work that we do from here on out.”

On Wednesday, the Asian American Journalists Association released a statement calling on the publisher to “ensure its commitment to Asian American and Pacific Islander communities and employees,” and said it had spoken with McCammond and the chief diversity officer at Condé Nast about the concerns.

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