Does the brand bubble ever pop for the weasels?
We’ve all seen the hashtag.
Some of us may have even posted it. Or at least know friends that have.
But whatever it’s association to each of us, unless you’ve been living in a bubble, you know the significance of it.
For the bubble dwellers amongst you, #metoo is a movement and online campaign that supports the survivors of sexual abuse, assault and harassment.
The initiative actually began ten years ago.
Tarana Burke, an activist from Harlem, launched the movement in a bid to aid ‘underprivileged women of colour affected by sexual abuse’.
Her inspiration came after bonding with a young girl during a youth camp.
The girl revealed that her mother’s boyfriend had been abusing her.
So, Burke decided to take action by helping the communities where rape crisis centres and sexual assault workers were not readily available.
And Me Too was born.
It’s only relatively recently that the movement has taken social media – and the world – by storm.
But it has given survivors the courage and voice to speak up.
Proceed with caution
Of course, sexual assault is a tricky subject to talk about.
As you’re probably aware though, we don’t shy away from anything here at The Monachie Project.
Particularly not when we see allegations of rape by celebrities splashed across the front pages.
It’s been a while since he has hit the headlines for the wrong reasons (well, around six months, to be precise) but singer Chris Brown is definitely no stranger to media controversy.
According to a French judicial source, he has been arrested in Paris, accused of aggravated rape and drug violations.
He is being held along with two other unidentified people.
As much as he makes decent music, I personally think the guy has a screw loose.
But that’s what I am driving at here. People like his music.
And that’s what really confounds me.
Celebrity shit storms
What do celebrities have that the rest of us mere mortals don’t?
How do they manage to keep their brand alive and kicking, no matter how appallingly they behave?
Chris Brown is the prime example.
Of course, we’re yet to know how much shit will stick from this latest incident.
But he was arrested last July on a felony battery charge stemming from Spring 2017.
Then, back in 2013, he and his bodyguard were arrested and charged with felony assault after an alleged altercation outside a hotel.
And, of course, we all remember how he had numerous encounters with the law, including physical assault charges following an incident with then girlfriend, Rihanna, back in 2009.
Sure, Rihanna forgave him.
So, does that mean that it’s okay for his fans to forgive him too, and keep him in the celebrity spotlight?
The list goes on…
Ronaldo is another one. He was recently accused of raping a woman in a Las Vegas hotel in 2009.
But, despite the allegations, the Juventus player is clearly still golden balls.
Because, although the players partners and sponsors have expressed their concerns, no one has actually cut ties with him.
R. Kelly is also no stranger to unsettling allegations.
He has a string of lawsuits against him, beginning in the mid-1990s and continuing through to the present day, which include sex with minors, child pornography, sex cults and allegations of physical abuse.
Sure, he’s no longer represented by his label or publisher, but all the controversy – much of which came to light from his documentary series – seems to have done is escalate his money and influence.
On the day Lifetime aired the final episode of Surviving R. Kelly, Kelly’s back-catalog streams shot up by almost 120%.
And the list doesn’t stop there…. Actors Morgan Freeman, Steven Seagal, Kevin Spacey, Dustin Hoffman and George Takei have all been accused of sexual assault.
Plus, all those TV celebs that we grew up with on the BBC, including Jimmy Savile, Stuart Hall and Rolf Harris.
Not to mention a handful of dodgy politicians around the world.
Smelling of roses
If I fell in a pile of shit, I would stand back up smelling of shit. No doubt about it.
There definitely wouldn’t be any smell of roses emanating from my pores. Just shit.
So, it is so difficult to understand how those in the celebrity spotlight get away with it.
If your business committed a toe-curling, cringe worthy faux pas, what’s the likelihood that you would stay afloat?
Pretty slim, I imagine.
I can only assume it comes down to consumer and celebrity brand loyalty.
It appears that the musicians and actors of this world can still deliver an emotive end-user experience, no matter what they do wrong.
Perhaps it’s because we, the general public, don’t see them as ‘real’ people?
I suppose, at the end of the day, we can still enjoy watching Rain Man for the zillionth time without thinking about Dustin Hoffman as a sexual predator.
Because, in the film, he isn’t Dustin Hoffman. He’s just sweet, loveable, Raymond Babbit.
And do football fanatics really care what Ronaldo does off the pitch, as long as he can keep hitting the back of the net, winning Ballon d’Or and being one of the greatest footballers of our time?
Plus, isn’t it true that different sorts of music make each of us tick and fans will always have their favourite tunes, no matter what the singer does?
Meanwhile, in the real world….
Celebrity brand loyalty is a strange phenomenon indeed.
And I definitely wouldn’t advise taking the risks that they do.
Though, give the majority credit where it’s due… they do know how to say sorry. And most of them work to right their wrongs.
Now, that’s definitely something businesses should take heed of.
Apologies, intensive consumer support and dedicated customer feedback management teams can go a long way to help smooth troubled waters.
But remember. You’re a business, not a celebrity.
And mere mortals definitely fall harder and do their brand more damage when they muck up.
So, never forget about the shit and roses.