Organisers have come under fire over a makeup masterclass for children at Bluewater Shopping Centre.
The "MAC back to school mini masterclass" event was scheduled to be held at the John Lewis store at Bluewater near Greenhithe later this month, for children aged 12 and over, and sparked fury from people who said it shouldn't have been aimed at such a young audience.
The event listing was removed from Facebook this morning but not before many slammed the concept, calling it shameful and abhorrent and accusing organisers of playing on the insecurities of young people.
Among those commenting on a Facebook post for the event was Hayley Webb, who questioned the organisers' judgement.
"I'm not sure how I feel about this," she said. "I love make up and definitely love a MAC product, and as a woman in her 30s I am entitled to do what I want with my face and body. But a 'back to school' beauty event, with a focus on skin and brows for 12+ year olds? Not sure that's appropriate.
"Besides the fact that my personal view is that 12-year-olds shouldn't be encouraged to wear make up (playing around at home maybe, but not buying pricey professional products), most children, and let's be honest they are still children, will not be able to use these products for school anyway, and rightly so.
"Should 12-year-olds care about their brows? Maybe skin care but I don't think that's what this event will be trying to sell. Complete marketing balls up if you ask me. Rethink this John Lewis/MAC."
Another commentator added: "John Lewis and MAC, I'm horrified either of you are involved with such a stunt. Two brands I thought had more sense. I'm a primary school teacher, and a mum of two girls, and I'm already seeing the heartbreaking reality of the pressure girls feel at younger and younger ages over their appearance. Why would you feed in to this? They don't need tips on make up from the age of 12.
"And certainly not marketed as a back to school thing. Whoever came up with this idea seriously needs to assess their moral compass. A way to make money from little girls' insecurities. Disappointing and, quite frankly, disgusting."
Another added: "I can't understand why John Lewis would be part of this. They have really got it wrong. The girls in the advert are only about 12 and definitely should not be worrying about make up.
"At such a young age they are vulnerable to pressure and this will make them feel that being natural (as a young girl should be) is not good enough. I am all for educating in healthy eating and caring for yourself but pushing make-up on such young girls is unacceptable.
"Oh, and by the way I sell an up market brand of make up but find this ethically abhorrent."
Bluewater, John Lewis and MAC have been approached for a comment.