The high street giant was spurred into action after observing a sharp spike in the volume of derogatory comments being posted online in response to one of its beauty campaigns.
As part of a drive to promote cosmetics, Superdrug had been working with a number of up and coming make-up artists and bloggers to post inspirational images of models. The company was saddened to see these posts generate negative and hateful comments.
A company spokesperson said: “At Superdrug, we want our social spaces to be a positive experience for everyone. We won’t tolerate cyberbullying or unnecessary, hurtful comments.”
In response to the wave of hate, Superdrug has started an online campaign with the hashtag #BeKind, joining forces with content creators Simone Powderly, Imogenation and Georgia Rankin to spread the word.
The company issued this message to social media users: “We’d like to ask that if you have nothing nice to say, that you don’t say anything at all. Please be kind to each other and keep our comments section a safe space for everyone. #BeKind.”
Online creator Rankin said she had received some highly negative messages and comments over the years.
“These words not only hurt, they stay with you, making you doubt yourself and feel unworthy,” said Rankin. “This has to stop.”
Superdrug has also teamed up with international youth organization Ditch the Label to remind social media users to treat each other with respect.
Ditch the Label runs a program of research, support channels and education to support young people who are being bullied or who experience mental health, relationship and identity issues.
The organization’s chief executive and founder, Liam Hackett, said: “At Ditch the Label, we are committed to working towards a world that’s fair, equal and free from all types of bullying. It’s always encouraging when other voices join our cause so we are delighted to support Superdrug with the anti-bullying initiative #BeKind in making a stand against online bullying. Together we can make a difference in the lives of anyone affected by bullying and online abuse.”