Saturday, May 17, 2008

Brand damage - what to do?

Those of you with responsibility for maintaining your company's brand platform take note!

A 26 year old artist named Nadia Plesner has been sued by Louis Vuitton for brand jacking their famous purses in a anti-genocide campaign. Nadia used the brand to strategically make a point that the media cares more about Paris Hilton and high fashion than the genocide in the nation of Darfur.

Nadia said: “My illustration Simple Living is an idea inspired by the medias constant cover of completely meaningless things. My thought was: Since doing nothing but wearing designerbags and small ugly dogs appearantly is enough to get you on a magasine cover, maybe it is worth a try for people who actually deserves and needs attention.
When we’re presented with the same images in the media over and over again, we might start to believe that they’re important. If you can’t beat them, join them. This is why I have chosen to mix the cruel reality with showbiz elements in my drawing.”

Luxury brands certainly have teams of brand police within their marketing departments to ensure their products aren’t being misplaced or improperly positioned, and took action this time by sending Nadia a cease and desist letter.

Louis Vuitton's
response is pretty standard and expected, to protect the image and brand that they’ve been working to build. What to do? Continue the legal path and settle with Nadia? Join the campaign and do some work to help raise funds or promote the cause? Walk away and let the dust simple settle - PR practitioners are probably thinking right now that perhaps they are doing the brand more damage?

Or perhaps as John Bell suggests, divert the attention “What they could do is work with Nadia and other artists to host discussions about media focus. They could partner with a neutral party like my friends at to steward the conversation. Keep the discussion away from luxury brands (which is not Nadia’s point anyhow). LV can become part of the solution without taking on the brunt of an issue they do not own.” Good point John.

So, what do you think LV should do? I would love to hear your thoughts.

Heidi Alexandra Pollard
The Communicators' Coach

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Online addiction!

Did you know that studies are showing that Aussies are spending more time online than watching TV!

You might be surprised but I am not. For the past few years I haven't had a television and now find that apart from breakfast radio I find out what I need to know about what's happening in the world as well as get my entertainment from my trusty laptop.

According to the latest Nielsen Online poll Australians are spending around 13.7 hours per week surfing the net, while average TV viewing time was about 13.3 hours per week.

The results are part of the 10th Australian Internet and Technology Report which looks at the profile of internet users, online behaviours, ownership of technologies and media consumption habits.The report revealed an increase in cross media consumption, with more than half of Australia’s internet users (58%) saying they have watched TV while online and 48% have used the internet while listening to the radio.

“This means that in recent years Australians have been increasingly consuming more than one medium at a time, commonly resulting in a fragmented span of attention. While use of the internet continued to grow this year, for the first time ever this was not accompanied by an increase for TV consumption – a possible early warning sign that we are approaching the feared media saturation point,” Tony Marlow, associate research director, Asia Pacific for Nielsen Online said.

On average, Australians are spending 84.4 hours per week across a range of media and leisure activities, up from 71.4 hours in the previous 12 months. WOW - isn't that huge!

Until next time online...
Heidi Alexandra Pollard
The Communicators' Coach