How a Wave of Negative Reviews Against This Black-Owned Business Actually Backfired
- Honey Pot, a black-owned business, was hit with negative reviews after a recently released Target ad featured its founder expressing hopes that her success would pave the way for other black girls
- Some were offended that Beatrice Dixon only addressed black girls in the ad and even accused the company of being racist.
- Many expressed their outrage at the negative review-writers and pledged their support to the brand. The ordeal ended up bringing an increase in sales to the company.
- Founder Beatrice Dixon said her products are meant for all women but also stood by her support expressed in the ad.
Ad Spurs Negative Reviews
The Honey Pot, a business run by a black woman, faced a slew of negative reviews following a Target commercial featuring its founder, but the verbal attacks actually resulted in increased sales and widespread support of the brand.
Beatrice Dixon founded Honey Pot, a plant-based feminine care line, after her own personal wellness struggles. In early February, Target released an ad featuring Dixon under the title “Founders We Believe In.” The commercial switches between the Honey Pot owner walking along Target aisles and talking to the camera about the obstacles she faced in starting her company.
“The reason why it’s so important for Honey Pot to do well is so the next black girl that comes up with a great idea — she can have a better opportunity,” Dixon says at the end of the ad. “That means a lot to me.”
Earlier this week, a surge of negative reviews flooded the Honey Pot’s profile on Trustpilot, a consumer review website.
“Black girls are empowered using this product… I guess whites girls aren’t. I’ll be letting Target know about this racist company,” one review said.
“I saw the commercial where the founder of the company stated that it’s to empower black women- not ALL women, only black women… it made me feel that the company is not only racist but small minded and not worth purchasing,” another said.
Dixon addressed the backlash in interviews with several news outlets. She said her products are for all women, as the company markets. In fact, the tagline on the line’s home page is “Made by Humans with Vaginas, for Humans with Vaginas.”
“That comment wasn’t about us being a Black-owned business and only selling to Black customers. I think we’re human and race shouldn’t even be a conversation, but it is because of the society we live in,” Dixon told ESSENCE. “We understand the responsibility as a Black-owned business that we have to be successful because if we’re not, we’re not doing anything for the culture to move it forward so that [race] isn’t a topic.”
The founder said that while she wasn’t necessarily surprised by the negative backlash, she also didn’t have expectations. She stood by her message in the ad.
“This was not Honey Pot’s commercial, it was Target’s commercial. It was shot during Black History Month and for Women’s History Month,” Dixon said to the magazine. “They chose that particular clip for a reason. I’m here for that story and that’s why I said it.”
In a statement, Target said they are proud to work with Dixon and Honey Pot.
“We’re aware of some negative comments about the campaign, which aren’t in line with the overwhelmingly positive feedback we’ve received from guests who love and have been inspired by Bea’s story,” Target said.
Support Pours in for Honey Pot
As Internet users caught wind of the negative reviews coming in for Honey Pot, many expressed their outrage.
“Racist White people are literally leaving racist ass reviews under #HoneyPot products on Target’s website because they are mad that it is a company ran by a Black woman,” one Twitter user said. “People are fucking THREATENED by Black women’s success.”
Some called attention to the negative comments on Trustpilot and urged others to leave their own positive reviews for the company.
Many heeded the call and visited Trustpilot to praise Dixon and her feminine care line.
“Love her product!” one person wrote. “Also, her message is very empowering to me and other girls. She proves once you have a vision and believe in yourself you can do anything. Ignore the reviews from bitter, evil, white trash below. They don’t speak up when minority women are being abused and trashed but they speak up to bash on minority women when they uplift themselves.”
“This is amazing. So glad to see more options available for all consumers. The haters were just jealous they weren’t invited to be the center of attention for once,” another review said.
By March 2, Honey Pot’s Trustpilot profile was so flooded with submissions that the website temporarily suspended new reviews from coming in.
“The Honey Pot’s profile page on Trustpilot has been temporarily suspended while Trustpilot’s Content Integrity team investigates an unusual influx of reviews, some of which violate Trustpilot’s guidelines,” the site wrote. “The page will be reinstated after investigation of the reviews.”
The drama turned out to be a good thing for Dixon and her company. She told Buzzfeed that after the wave of negative comments hit the Trustpilot page earlier in the week, Honey Pot’s sales were up 40% to 50% higher than what they would be on a typical day.
See what others are saying: (NBC) (ESSENCE) (HuffPost)
Survey and Census Data Shows Record Number of Americans are Struggling Financially
Americans are choosing not to pursue medical treatment more and more frequently as they encounter money troubles.
A recent federal survey shows that a record number of Americans were worse off financially in 2022 than a year prior.
Coupled with recent census data showing pervasive poverty across much of the country, Americans are forced to make difficult decisions, like foregoing expensive healthcare.
According to a recent Federal Reserve Bureau survey, 35% of adults say they were worse off in 2022 than 2021, which is the highest share ever recorded since the question was raised in 2014.
Additionally, half of adults reported their budget was majorly affected by rising prices across the country, and that number is even higher among minority communities and parents living with their children.
According to recent census data, more than 10% of the counties in the U.S. are experiencing persistent poverty, meaning the area has had a poverty rate of 20% or higher between 1989 and 2019.
16 states report at least 10% of their population living in persistent poverty. But most of the suffering counties were found in the South — which accounts for over half the people living in persistent poverty, despite making up less than 40% of the population.
These financial realities have placed many Americans in the unfortunate situation of choosing between medical treatment and survival. The Federal Reserve study found that the share of Americans who skipped medical treatment because of the cost has drastically increased since 2020.
The reflection of this can be found in the overall health of households in different income brackets. 75% of households with an income of $25,000 or less report being in good health – compared to the 91% of households with $100,000 or more income.
See what others are saying: (Axios) (The Hill) (Federal Reserve)
Montana Governor Signs TikTok Ban
The ban will likely face legal challenges before it is officially enacted next year.
First Statewide Ban of TikTok
Montana became the first state to ban TikTok on Wednesday after Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) signed legislation aimed at protecting “Montanans’ personal and private data from the Chinese Communist Party.”
The ban will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2024, though the law will likely face a handful of legal challenges before that date.
Under the law, citizens of the state will not be held liable for using the app, but companies that offer the app on their platforms, like Apple and Google, will face a $10,000 fine per day of violations. TikTok would also be subject to the hefty daily fine.
Questions remain about how tech companies will practically enforce this law. During a hearing earlier this year, a representative from TechNet said that these platforms don’t have the ability to “geofence” apps by state.
Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics, told the Associated Press that app stores could have the capability to enforce the restriction, but it would be difficult to carry out and there would be a variety of loopholes by tools like VPNs.
Montana’s law comes as U.S. politicians have taken aim at TikTok over its alleged ties to the CCP. Earlier this year, the White House directed federal agencies to remove TikTok from government devices. Conservatives, in particular, have been increasingly working to restrict the app.
“The Chinese Communist Party using TikTok to spy on Americans, violate their privacy, and collect their personal, private, and sensitive information is well-documented,” Gov. Gianforte said in a Wednesday statement.
Criticism of Montana Law
TikTok, however, has repeatedly denied that it gives user data to the government. The company released a statement claiming Montana’s law “infringes on the First Amendment rights of the people” in the state.
“We want to reassure Montanans that they can continue using TikTok to express themselves, earn a living, and find community as we continue working to defend the rights of our users inside and outside of Montana,” the company said.
The American Civil Liberties Union condemned Montana’s law for similar reasons.
“This law tramples on our free speech rights under the guise of national security and lays the groundwork for excessive government control over the internet,” the ACLU tweeted. “Elected officials do not have the right to selectively censor entire social media apps based on their country of origin.”
Per the AP, there are 200,000 TikTok users in Montana, and another 6,000 businesses use the platform as well. Lawsuits are expected to be filed against the law in the near future.
See what others are saying: (Associated Press) (Fast Company) (CBS News)
How a Disney-Loving Former Youth Pastor Landed on The FBI’s “Most Wanted” List
“Do what is best, not for yourself, for once. Think about everyone else,” Chris Burns’ 19-year-old son pleaded to his father via The Daily Beast.
Multi-Million Dollar Scheme
Former youth pastor turned financial advisor Chris Burns remains at large since going on the run in September of 2020 to avoid a Securities Exchange Commission investigation into his businesses.
Despite his fugitive status, the Justice Department recently indicted Burns with several more charges on top of the $12 million default judgment he received from the SEC.
Burns allegedly sold false promissory notes to investors across Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida. The SEC claims he told the investors they were participating in a “peer to peer” lending program where businesses that needed capital would borrow money and then repay it with interest as high as 20%. Burns allegedly also reassured investors that the businesses had collateral so the investment was low-risk.
The SEC says that Burns instead took that money for personal use.
Burns began his adult life as a youth pastor back in 2007 before transitioning into financial planning a few years later. By 2017, he launched his own radio show, The Chris Burns Show, which was funded by one of his companies, Dynamic Money – where every week Burns would “unpack how this week’s headlines practically impact your life, wallet, and future,” according to the description. He also frequently appeared on television and online, talking about finances and politics.
The SEC alleges that he used his public appearances to elevate his status as a financial advisor and maximize his reach to investors.
His family told The Daily Beast that he became obsessed with success and he reportedly bought hand-made clothes, a million-dollar lakehouse, a boat, several cars, and took his family on several trips to Disney World. His eldest son and wife said that Burns was paying thousands of dollars a day for VIP tours and once paid for the neighbors to come along.
Then in September 2020, he reportedly told his wife that he was being investigated by the Securities Exchange Commission but he told her not to worry.
The day that he was supposed to turn over his business documents to the SEC, he disappeared, telling his wife he was just going to take a trip to North Carolina to tell his parents about the investigation. Then, the car was found abandoned in a parking lot with several cashier’s checks totaling $78,000
FBI’s Most Wanted
The default judgment in the SEC complaint orders Burns, if he’s ever found, to pay $12 million to his victims, as well as over $650,000 in a civil penalty. Additionally, a federal criminal complaint charged him with mail fraud. Burns is currently on the FBI’s Most Wanted list.
Last week, the Justice Department indicted him on several other charges including 10 counts of wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud.
“Burns is charged for allegedly stealing millions of dollars from clients in an illegal investment fraud scheme,” Keri Farley, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “Financial crimes of this nature can cause significant disruptions to the lives of those who are victimized, and the FBI is dedicated to holding these criminals accountable.”
His family maintains that they knew nothing of Burns’ schemes. His wife reportedly returned over $300,000 that he had given to her.
She and their eldest son, who is now 19, told The Daily Beast they just want Burns to turn himself in, take responsibility for his actions, and try to help the people he hurt.
“Do what is best, not for yourself, for once. Think about everyone else,” Burns’ son said in a message to his father via The Daily Beast.