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Where should a brand draw the line?


In a world of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter – if you’re a public figure the lines between your public and private life are constantly blurred. And if you’re the person in charge of the publicity for a major fashion brand it can be a constant challenge to navigate the positive and negative implications of celebrity endorsement.

So where should a brand draw the line with its social media activity?

I was shocked to discover that such an established local brand, like Carla Zampatti  didn’t draw the line when posting an image of a local celebrity at another’s memorial service. You would have thought that after the fall out from the Valentino post of Amy Adams at Philip Seymour Hoffman’s funeral this sort of social media activity would have declared this a no-go zone.

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…here is the post in question.

For the benefit of 2OPINIONATED international readers I will walk you through the story. Terry Biviano is an Australian footwear designer and this is an Instagram post for another local designer Carla Zampatti. Terry is pictured here in a Carla Zampatti “Raven’ jumpsuit, hand in hand with her footballer husband, at Charlotte Dawson’s memorial service.

This post has since been deleted.

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Charlotte Dawson (pictured below) is an Australian model and TV presenter who recently, sadly committed suicide. Call me old fashioned, but if I was Terry Biviano I would like the focus of this day not to be my outfit (which is amazing by the way) but on my grief and celebrating the life of a dear friend.


So what’s the point I’m trying to make?

Yes, it is  possible that whoever is in charge of the Instagram account for Carla Zampatti may have been unaware that the photo was taken at Charlotte Dawson’s memorial service. However, I’m actually a Carla Zampatti customer and I’m not impressed! The fact that the brand merely took the post down without apologising for the error has left a sour taste in my mouth (and perhaps others). Without any apology the brand is quite literally legitimising this sort of activity.

Having worked with many local fashion retailers (particularly emerging brands), it has been my experience that social media execution is often left to junior staff members, sometimes interns. Often, there is neither the budget to appoint either a senior staff member internally or to outsource the task to an external professional . But let’s  face it, it doesn’t require much training or investigation to determine the source of this particular image. I found the origin with a quick online search (see image below).

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Personal social media activity is fun but professional social media activity is quite frankly serious stuff. If brand fails to establish internal social media protocols and checks and balances, posts like this can potentially have a serious impact on their business.

So next time…think before you post Carla Zampatti !



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