Darfur Cause Aims for Paris Hilton-Like Publicity

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Forrester Senior Analyst Jeremiah Owyang has written a concise summary with insightful commentary on the Louis Vuitton brand-jacked Darfur t-shirt situation. Briefly, an artist, Nadia Plesner, created a t-shirt showing a Darfur child holding an LV bag and a little dog.

Imagery sound familiar? It should and that's Plesner's point who explains, "My illustration Simple Living is an idea inspired by the media's constant cover of completely meaningless things [ie. Paris Hilton]. My thought was: Since doing nothing but wearing designer bags and small ugly dogs apparently is enough to get you on a magazine cover, maybe it is worth a try for people who actually deserves and needs attention."

Predictably, cease and desists, lawsuits and blogger outcry ensued. As Jeremiah points out with several options, there's no easy way out of this for Loius Vuitton. While one can certainly sympathize with the plight of Darfur, one also must realize brands can't be readily hijacked on the whim of a cause group or an individual with an agenda.

Some would argue if LV did nothing about this and just let it die, there would have been no outcry and no publicity. Indeed, it is sometimes better to leave well enough alone. Of course, the situation does present the opportunity for LV to become deeply engaged with both the plight of Darfur as well as open a dialog with both its consumers and those who feel Darfur should much more of the spot light than Paris Hilton strutting down the sidewalk with her Louis Vuitton bad and tiny little puppet/dog.

by Steve Hall    May- 5-08   Click to Comment   
Topic: Brands, Cause, Celebrity, Consumer Created, Opinion, Social   

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