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CBHA Talks: Corporate Social Responsibility and the Cultural Practices of M•A•C Cosmetics with Andrea Benoit

CBHA Talks: Corporate Social Responsibility and the Cultural Practices of M•A•C Cosmetics with Andrea Benoit

February 19 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Join us as Dr. Andrea Benoit presents and discusses issues around corporate social responsibility that stem from research based upon her award-winning book, VIVA MAC: AIDS, Fashion, and the Philanthropic Practices of MAC Cosmetics (University of Toronto Press, 2019).

Recipient of the $30,000 2020 National Business Book Award, VIVA MAC, is the first cultural history of the iconic brand M·A·C Cosmetics, one that tells the fascinating story of how M·A·C's unique style of corporate social responsibility emerged from specific cultural practices, rather than being part of a strategic marketing plan.  Utilizing exclusive interviews with M·A·C co-founder Frank Toskan, key journalists, and fashion insiders, VIVA MAC delves into the history of the M·A·C AIDS Fund and its signature VIVA GLAM fundraising lipstick, which featured drag performer RuPaul and singer k.d. lang in its first advertising campaigns. This lively chronicle reveals how M·A·C managed to not only defy the stigma associated with AIDS that alarmed many other corporations, but to engage in highly successful AIDS advocacy while maintaining its creative and fashionable authority.

Andrea Benoit has a PhD in Media Studies from the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western University. She did her BA and MA in English at the University of Toronto, and an MA in Communication and Culture at York University. Andrea’s research and teaching are in advertising, branding, the interconnection of promotional culture with social causes, and media representations of equity, diversity, and inclusion. She has taught courses in these areas in Western University’s Media, Information, and Technoculture program and in McMaster University’s Department of Communication Studies and Multimedia. Andrea’s international professional experience includes university recruitment at D.E. Shaw & Co. in New York and London. From 2010 to 2018, Andrea sat on the Board of Directors of Informed Opinions (formerly Media Action), a Canadian non-profit organization that amplifies women’s voices for a more democratic Canada. Andrea currently works in the Office of the Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science, at the University of Toronto, where she oversees the Faculty’s academic review process. Andrea can be reached at

Moderator:  Professor Dimitry Anastakis, Chair - CBHA/ACHA

All participants must register to attend this virtual event here:  All registrants will be sent the login instructions on February 23rd, 2021.

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