Dear Brands, Paying Us With Exposure Is Not OK Anymore

In this week’s bizarre news…

A local beauty brand has landed itself in hot water after info leaked from Twitter that the brand paid their models, MUAs and designers in the form of EXPOSURE. Can we really survive on “exposure,” in this economy? Likes and impressions are great and all, but will they pay your bills?

BeauTyra is well-known for its pigmented blushes, matte liquid lipsticks and hair mists, which are usually sold out within minutes after it’s product launch on Shopee. On the platform, the brand also sells a 2019 planner, which is where the tea began to boil and spill over.

According to a Twitter thread by @lipstickfiqs revealed that the beauty brand never once credited their models on social media, and if they’re already unpaid, it’s rather exploitative. Other warga Twitter and CuriousCat also listed their experiences while working with BeauTyra.

BeauTyra founder Aazief Khalid claimed that the brand gave an allowance to MUAs and models….

…. but personal experiences from the models and MUAs themselves dictated otherwise. One of them even travelled all the way from Melaka to KL for a photoshoot!



Meanwhile, here’s when the tea gets hotter. Instagram-worthy phone case brand CasesByWF agreed to let the beauty brand use their designs on their planner as door gifts, but it didn’t happen because the planners were not produced on time. Suddenly, the beauty brand released a limited edition planner priced at RM40 each, without the designer’s knowledge, and CasesByWF’s logo was cropped out. Somebody call the copyright police. Read the rest of the story in this tweet:

Dear startups and established brands alike, not everyone is privileged enough to live on exposure alone. Most people, including some former fans of BeauTyra were furious and disappointed at this audacity. Some claimed they didn’t even see the “exposure.”

Aazief Khalid has clarified the issue on Twitter, but we certainly hope that the brand itself will come up with a statement.

We hope Beautyra has learned from this and that all parties have rectified their issues amicably.

To all brands, whether you’re a startup or a big company, always pay your creatives! Our work is not worth less just because it’s “creative.” If anyone else can do it, why don’t you ask them? Exposure is not an acceptable currency in Malaysia, or anywhere else. If you don’t have the budget for that, do the creative work yourself!