Ulta Beauty Inc. (NASDAQ: ULTA) has suspended its advertising campaign with Teen Vogue after news reports surfaced regarding racially offensive tweets by the magazine’s newly hired editor-in-chief Alexi McCammond.
What Happened: Condé Nast, the publisher of Teen Vogue, hired McCammond, a 27-year-old African American journalist who gained attention for her political reporting at Axios and on-air commentary for MSNBC, to take the editorial leadership of Teen Vogue beginning March 24.
Her hiring created a backlash within the magazine’s staff after anti-Asian tweets that McCammond sent in 2011 during her college years resurfaced, according to a Daily Beast report.
“Now googling how to not wake up with swollen, asian eyes…” she wrote in one of the tweets. “Give me a 2/10 on my chem problem, cross out all of my work and don’t explain what i did wrong…thanks a lot stupid asian T.A. you’re great,” she tweeted in another. She also tweeted: “Outdone by Asian #whatsnew.”
The tweets first surfaced in 2019, at which time McCammond said she was “deeply sorry,” adding the posts “do not reflect my views or who I am today.”
McCammond deleted the tweets after they were first brought to light.
The tweets were brought back into the spotlight after members of the Teen Vogue staff, including outgoing editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner, expressed displeasure at the hiring of McCammond.
What Happens Next: The Daily Beast, citing unnamed “people familiar with the situation,” reported that Ulta Beauty’s advertising deal with Teen Vogue was worth seven figures.
To date, this is the only Teen Vogue advertiser to reportedly hit the brakes as a result of the McCammond controversy.
“Diversity and inclusion are core values at Ulta Beauty — and always have been,” an Ulta spokesperson said.
“Our current spend with Teen Vogue is paused as we work with Condé Nast to evaluate the situation and determine next steps regarding our partnership.”
Despite the internal strife and the suspension of the Ulta Beauty advertising campaign, Condé Nast is standing by its hiring decision.
“Alexi McCammond was appointed editor-in-chief of Teen Vogue because of the values, inclusivity and depth she has displayed through her journalism,” Condé Nast said in a press statement. “Throughout her career she has dedicated herself to being a champion for marginalized voices. Two years ago she took responsibility for her social media history and apologized.”
Photo of Alexi McCammond via her Instagram page.
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