H&M flip-flops on Moss

A new chapter seems to be written each day in H&M;’s relation to Kate Moss. Today, H&M;’s CEO Rolf Eriksen tells Dagens Industri’s online edition that they will not rule out the possibility to use Moss in future campaigns.

“You never know what might happen if she changes attitude. The important thing is that she is not a part of this campaign.” [The launch of H&M;’s Stella McCartney collection]

“Kate Moss is one of the most talented models in the world and we hope that she will get help with her problems.”

Back to a softer approach again? What about the potential law suit?

Moss – the perfect poker face

Kate Moss has been offered £5m to front the online poker site nine.com, according to Brand Republic (reg. required). The gambling site has offered Moss a five-year contract to be the face of its new campaign. The contract would come with restrictions, including time in rehab and monitoring to prove she is not taking drugs. Moss was also asked to participate in a nine.com-sponsored anti-drugs campaign aimed at students.

Jack Abrams, a nine.com spokesman, said: “We did a quick focus group with some customers to see if they would be offended in any way and the response was an overwhelming, ‘No — please get Kate Moss as your spokesperson’.”

Sure, poker players would vote for Spongebob Squarepants as spokesperson, as long as it would lure more players into the game.

Why suing Kate Moss is a really bad idea

I read in Expressen that H&M; are investigating the possibilities to sue super model Kate Moss for damages. H&M; are looking at recovering some costs that came as a result of the recent cocaine scandal. From a PR perspective this seems like a very very bad idea. Here’s why:

1. She’s sorry. She made a stupid mistake and admitted it. She apologized to everyone that might have suffered from her behaviour. Going after someone who is truthfully apologetic does not give your company a sympathetic image, even if you technically are entitled to do it.

2. You forgave her. H&M;’s initial reaction to the story was to give Moss a second chance. By suing her, H&M; make a 180 degree turn and does not come out as a company with a clear strategy on this matter.

3. Big vs small #1. H&M; is a huge company, partially owned by one of Sweden’s richest men. It has all the resources one can wish for, whilst Moss is an individual, a small woman, albeit wealthy and big enough to snort cocaine. Nevertheless, readers are more likely to side with David than Goliath.

4. Big vs small #2. Does it not look somewhat greedy for a company that last year made a net profit of SEK 7.2 billion to sue an individual for damages? Um, yes it does.

5. Addiction is a disease, even if self inflicted. Moss is obviously sick. She needs help, not law suits. Sure, she caused the situation herself, but then what? Do H&M; want to destroy her?

6. Enough already. The more H&M; talk about the incident, the longer it will continue and they run the risk of being associated with a drug addict. Just drop it and focus on your new campaign. Use the massive attention to do something positive.

7. The story broke on 15 Sept. First they forgave her, then H&M; didn’t communicate that they are dropping Moss until 20 Sept. I can understand that H&M; feel they are in a business relation with Moss and that she broke the contract and cost H&M; some serious money. But had the company had a clear strategy from the beginning it might even have gained credibility and brand recognition from the story. Now, it is more likely that the brand will suffer from whimsical public relations than from the cocaine scandal itself. (H&M; now claim they decided to drop Moss on 17 Sept. Which is worst, having trouble deciding or not being able to communicate what they have decided?)

Jessica Simpson to replace Kate Moss

Marketing weekly Resum√© claims that pop princess and Newlyweds star Jessica Simpson will replace Kate Moss in the advertising campaign for Swedish clothier H&M;’s new Stella McCartney collection.

H&M; of course declined to comment on the speculations. Should this be true it is cause for a celebration with a plate of buffalo wings, unless you like Simpson “don’t eat buffalo”.