Naomi Campbell, world reknowned supermodel and diva extraordinaire, has a history of being difficult to work with. Her reputation precedes her when it comes to her shrift and short temper.
|What you get when you google image search "Naomi Campbell Chocolate."|
So it was only natural when Cadbury decided to launch a campaign for its new, luxuriously rich line of gourmet dairy milk chocolate bar, "Bliss", that it decided to compare its diva quality with that of Naomi.
Launched in supermarkets and newspapers in the UK by ad agency Fallon London, the ad leads with the headline,
"Move over Naomi, there's a new diva in town."
The wrapped chocolate bar sits in a pool of diamonds (which some compare to the controversy linking Naomi to the "Blood Diamond" case in which she had to testify). The ad then states, "I'm the world's most pampered bar."
Naturally, this comparison left a bitter taste in Campbell's mouth and sent her into a tantrum. She blasted Cadbury and the ad on grounds that it was racist. She stated that she is looking at, "every option available" including legal action.
|Not A Happy Campbell|
Naomi feels certain that its the color of her skin thats being described, and not her diva-style tantrums or supermodel lifestyle that she lives. She did not see the humor in the ad and found it insulting and hurtful.
The campaign also received a response from Simon Woolley of Operation Black Vote, who responded to the drama with his own criticism.
In response, Cadbury pulled the advertising with no plans to repeat the ad.
Whether the campaign was racist or not is open to debate. Personally, I feel that the company was playing up on Noami's reputation and not her race.
But I just wonder why Cadbury had to shelve and mothball the whole campaign. Surely they could have found another "diva" to help sell their chocolate - maybe with a method or angle that isn't so combative.
Alternatively, if it was really only a one piece campaign that wasn't terribly extendable in its execution, maybe it was just easier to scrap the whole thing.
If Cadbury weather the lawsuits without any major compensation or legal bills, at least they managed to raise the profile of their product through some controversial free publicity (including this very blog entry).