Posted by: Frederik Balfour on May 29, 2008
I’d hate to have the job of PR flak at Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy. I just don’t see any way the French luxury giant will be able to put a positive spin on the outrageously insensitive comments made by Sharon Stone, who has represented its Christian Dior cosmetics line. Door-stopped by a Hong Kong television reporter on the sidelines of the Cannes film festival, Stone intimated that the horrific devastation wrought by the Sichuan earthquake was some kind of karmic retribution for China’s treatment of the Tibetans. You can watch Ms Stone put her foot in her mouth on Youtube.
LVMH management has already indicated it may drop Stone from its marketing campaign, and there are already reports that advertisements featuring her have been taken down in Beijing. It sure hasn’t been a good year for LVMH in China. Earlier, there were calls for boycotts of its luxury goods by Chinese bloggers angry with the way French demonstrators tried to snatch the Olympic torch from a Chinese woman in a wheel chair bearing it.
You have got to wonder whether LVMH was already questioning its decision to work with Stone before this enormous gaff. When she was in Shanghai last year to promote an anti-aging cream from Dior, she told local reporters that “wrinkles are lucky”, effectively undermining the need for the products she represented.