Actor Johnny Depp has undoubtedly been through a lot lately, from accusations of domestic violence to losing various acting jobs. Now, his remaining fans have come to defend him. In fact, to show their support, many have bought Dior’s latest aftershave release, which Depp modeled.
For those now in the know, Johnny Depp has headed to the courtroom quite frequently, as of late. Most recently, after accusations of abuse by his ex-wife Amber Heard, a British court found “the great majority of alleged assaults of Ms Heard by Mr Depp [12 out 14] have been proved to the civil standard.” Meanwhile, Depp continues to maintain the claims are false. Still, as you might imagine, he’s lost nearly every contract and job since the court decision, including his role in the Harry Potter prequels, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. Most except Dior, the cologne company for which Depp frequently models, has stayed by the actor. In fact, they debuted a new commercial for their aftershave Sauvage with Depp during the latest episode of The Great British Bake Off.
Of course, as you might imagine, many viewers were not happy to see Depp on their screens. Some even complained to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), which governs advertisements in Britain. “We have received a total of 11 complaints about this ad,” a spokesperson for the ASA said. “With the complainants believing that Johnny Depp shouldn’t be in the ad due to details concerning his recent court case.” Those complaints are not grounds for removal, so the ad will continue to air, making plenty of remaining Depp fans happy. “Johnny Depp is still the face of Sauvage, because Dior aren’t idiots,” said one fan on social media. “He’s still the face of their cologne Sauvage, definitely gonna get me a bottle to show my support,” another Depp fan stated. At first, it seemed that these remaining fans were few and far between. Now, though, Dior’s sales have skyrocketed!
All Publicity Is Good Publicity
To be clear: it’s not proven that the recent rise in Dior sales is directly connected to Johnny Depp. However, the circumstantial evidence is certainly there! Since the court determined Heard’s claims met the “civil standard,” Dior’s Sauvage sales have risen 23%. Meanwhile, both The Fragrance Shop and The Perfume Shop have reported selling out of the product. Mark Bokowski, a PR expert who worked with Michael Jackson and American Express in the past, explains that Dior’s placing a sizable bet on Depp. “A brand like Dior is not just looking at this territory,” he said. “The attitude [toward Depp] in the UK will be very different to the one in eastern Europe, for example.”
“Brands hope for short-term memory loss and long-term amnesia. These fashion companies live in their own bubble, it’s like The Devil Wears Prada [film]. They live in a world where they are used to facing controversy.” However, in the end, Bokowski is not sure Dior’s bet will pay off. “I think it would be sensible for Dior to sever links with Depp. Anything can be stopped by pressing a button if they really wanted to.”
Others have brought up the cost: should Dior kill the ad, they’d lose millions. Depp alone made $4 million for his part in the commercial, just a fraction of its total cost to produce and distribute. Lauren Sherman, the chief correspondent for the Business of Fashion, think Dior might be on to something. “Most businesses like that take a long view, which is that growing awareness is good overall,” she said. “People will forget about the Depp association with time, but they may not forget the Sauvage name so easily.”