The entrepreneurs on Shark Tank occasionally make ill-advised comments, but few have angered fans of the show as much as a deodorant model for PiperWai, who upset several viewers with a remark about the “cancer market.”
Natural deodorant is an increasingly popular concept, as many people worry about the risks related to the aluminum in standard deodorant products. Unfortunately, most natural deodorants just aren’t effective. PiperWai, however, has an all-natural formula that actually seems to work. Sarah Ribner and Jess Edelstein (the clever women who sought the Sharks’ help during tonight’s episode of Shark Tank) used a very sweaty model to prove this, but this model decided that letting the Sharks smell her armpits wasn’t enough. She told the Sharks all about the so-called “cancer market,” which, in her opinion, is very promising.
Although there is economic opportunity in every niche imaginable, the term “cancer market” seems a bit too capitalistic, especially for a woman who has confessed to being the daughter of someone with cancer. Given her mom’s diagnosis, the deodorant model likely did not intend any harm, but her careless remark definitely struck a nerve with Shark Tank fans, many of whom did a double take upon hearing this unexpected commoditization.
The comment sounded more like something Kevin O’Leary would say — not a model closely affiliated with the product. But while Mr. Wonderful is always quick to pounce on a promising market, he wanted none of the natural deodorant. Only Barbara Corcoran and Lori Greiner desired involvement, and each wanted a huge ownership stake. Ultimately, the gals were able to negotiate Corcoran down to 25 percent, but their ability to do so had absolutely nothing to do with the alleged growth of the “cancer market.” Rather, Corcoran had a good feeling about the quality of the product, compared to other natural deodorants, which, in her opinion, don’t work.
Although enthusiastic about the product, viewers were not happy about the “cancer market” comment. These Shark Tank fans thought that it was a needless and very tacky remark. They were quick to voice their disbelief and displeasure on Twitter.
Controversial comments on Shark Tank are nothing new, but this one was very unexpected. Fortunately for the ladies of PiperWai, their model’s careless statement did not destroy their ability procure a benefactor. Next time, they might want to put a little more thought into who they select as a model, as the last thing they need is to offend their target market.