Celebrity self destruction

BBC News: Fashion store H&M has done a U-turn and says it will drop Kate Moss as the face of a campaign after drug allegations. Tabloid newspaper claims that Moss had snorted cocaine initially led H&M to condemn the British model but vow it would continue using her. Many of H&M’s customers are teenage girls and the chain said in a statement that Moss was “inconsistent with H&M’s clear dissociation of drugs”.

A dilemma for any company with a high-profile A-list celebrity who makes the new headlines for all the wrong reasons, even more so for a publicly-listed company like H&M with a strong sense of corporate social responsibility.

It gets worse, though, as a BBC News report today says:

Supermodel Kate Moss is to be investigated over claims she has taken cocaine, Scotland Yard has said. Assistant Commissioner Tarique Ghaffur ordered an inquiry after newspapers alleged the model used illegal drugs. It has not been confirmed whether police will interview Moss, who has refused to comment on the claims.

Kate Moss also has contracts with Coty, Chanel, Burberry and Dior – companies with strong brands and market images.

If all these companies as well as Moss’ publicists and the Storm model agency have crisis PR plans, now’s the time to be ready.

2 thoughts on “Celebrity self destruction

  1. Sanctimony, not Kate Moss, the Source of Fashion PR Headaches

    HM and Vanderbilt know Moss is a substance abuser so why the sanctimony? And why arent they getting better PR advice?

  2. Kate Moss and her clients are facing a difficult situation. Models have been accused of using drugs for years, so this wasn’t a huge shock to the public. It has been obvious lately that Kate Moss is a drug user, but the surprising part was that she was caught on camera. This was an example of bad PR from several outlets. I’m not sure if it’s a case of crisis management as much as a time to be honest. It was a bad move for the company to say that they didn’t know she was a drug user. You know what’s going on if you are in the industry, and it doesn’t help anyone to ignore a situation like this.
    I think H&M should have addressed the problem more openly and honestly. It’s not solely their problem to fix, even though they took a risk by hiring her in the first place if they were aware of her addiction. Kate and her agency, Storm, need to do some serious PR if they want to build back their credibility. I’m not sure if dropping her was the answer to the problem.
    I don’t think Kate will be out of work forever. She may have lost some jobs, but I don’t think it’s the end of her career as a model. I’m sure they will sign her again and have a “we support her recovery” campaign. The publicity is probably good for everyone. It should be an awakening for all models and the people they work for. It will be interesting to see how she, and her career, recovers from this incident.

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