‘A joke’: Influencer’s $1 fire pledge slammed
AN INSTAGRAM influencer was forced into hiding after her pledge to donate $1 from each sale of her beauty product to bushfire victims spectacularly backfired.
Sarah Stevenson told her one million followers in a video she wanted to help raise funds for people in the fire-ravaged areas of New South Wales and Queensland.
The mother-of-one and a self-titled "holistic health princess" pledged to donate $1 from the sales of La'Bang Body skincare products - a company she collaborated with to bring out products for her followers - to the St Vincent's Bushfire Appeal over a 48-hour period.
But her followers quickly slammed the move as a gimmick, forcing Ms Stevenson to hide out at home over the backlash.
Things went took a bad turn after the 27-year-old told fans of her "fun" plan to help support the "really intense bushfires around Sydney and Queensland".
"I was thinking, 'What else can I do to give back to the bushfire victims and everyone involved?'" she said in an Instagram Stories video.
"If you purchase one of my products with La'Bang, then $1 will go towards that (the appeal) and I'm just so happy that I can give back."
But it wasn't met with a big applause, as people accused Ms Stevenson of "exploiting a tragedy for promotional gain".
"Stop using the word fun … "fun way to get everyone involved", it's truly insensitive and to clap back at the people who called you out for it shows you actually don't understand the issue," one user wrote on the now-deleted pledge post.
"$1 per product is a cop out," another said.
"Go 50 per cent of 100 per cent of proceeds for 48 hours to be genuine. It's currently a cheap trick to boost profit," a third commented.
Others continued to slam the influencer by commenting on some of her most, unrelated posts.
"How she thought it was a good idea is mind-blowing," one person said.
In a follow-up video, Ms Stevenson - whose skincare products with La'Bang Body range from $16.95 to $58.95 - said she received "so much hate" online she was forced into hiding after abandoning a gym session and heading home.
She had previously decided to start a GoFundMe to help raise the funds but instead opted for the promotion, saying it would 'be more fun" and "get everyone involved".
She explained she was disappointed that something she was "so excited" about had backfired.
"La'Bang called me two hours ago and they said, 'Hey, let's do this fun $1 activation', and I said, 'OK, cool'. They sent me the post, I uploaded it, and we were like, 'Yeah, this is fun'," she said.
"I just got so much hate on that post, and this is a classic 'you're damned if you do, damned if you don't'."
Ms Stevenson said regardless of whether she did or didn't donate, she would have copped hate.
"We say 'a dollar activation', I still get hate," she said.
Ms Stevenson described the messages she received as "disgusting" and said she was devastated that "20 per cent" of people reacted in such a negative way.
However, not all were against her good deed, with many followers coming to her defence.
"You already donated and tried to do something really nice, people get your beautiful product and get to help, that's amazing, and if people have been following you they know you only thought about helping and not profits at all," one fan said.
"People assume she is doing this for profits but people are already buying her products and they get to help! Even when she already donated money to charity before the 1 dollar donation," said another.