Model and reality star Kendall Jenner is facing heat this month following the announcement of her partnership with skin-care brand Proactiv. The campaign, which focuses on Jenner's personal battle with cystic acne, has received mixed responses from fans. Some were upset over Kris Jenner's teaser for the partnership, which they called misleading, while others were doubtful that the model had ever actually used the brand's products. (Many pointed to previous interviews that stated Jenner was treated by dermatologist Christie Kudd).
While Jenner hasn't directly addressed the campaign — besides publishing branded posts on her personal Instagram account— Proactiv has broken its silence to stand behind its newest celebrity ambassador.
“We went through an extensive process with [Kendall Jenner] before the contract was signed where she used the product, commented on her results, collaborated with us and made sure that this was a product that worked for her,” Marc Kravets, general manager of Proactiv told WWD, explaining that Jenner's previous methods for clearing her acne had failed. "What she told us is that she tried everything and she got some short-term results and then got the problem back."
He also revealed that the brand approved Kris Jenner's controversial Twitter post: “Everything has to be cleared so we do coordinate on all communications, together with the family.”
Even with the controversy, Proactiv says that direct subscriptions were up 30 percent year-over-year during the first week of Jenner's campaign — and that the social media response only reinforces its relevancy. “Some of that backlash we saw is exactly what we need to address this, and Kendall’s the perfect person to drive that relationship," Kravets told WWD. “Acne has a terrible impact on your self-esteem; it has a direct link to increases in depression and is a topic that shouldn’t be shamed."
And that much is definitely true. Last year, the British Journal of Dermatology published a 15-year study that confirmed that acne sufferers were at a significantly higher risk of depression. After following 134,427 men and women with acne and 1,731,608 without, scientists found that patients with acne were 63% more likely to be diagnosed with major depression in the first year after developing acne compared to those with clear skin.
But unlike Pepsi pulling its controversial Kendall Jenner ad, Proactiv confirmed that they have no intention of slowing down or halting the campaign. So, you can expect a continued dialogue about acne and even more content from Jenner and Proactiv coming down the pipeline — whether you choose to believe it or not.