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IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK: Johnny Depp Proves that Reputation is Everything

Following an alleged domestic violence case between Johnny Depp and his partner, Amber Heard, the star is set to leave the Fantastic Beasts franchise. The actor has allegedly been asked by Warner Bros. to step down from the role rather than terminating his contract, meaning Depp is still set to receive a full eight figure salary despite only being present one day for the filming for the third film in the franchise.

The decision came after a recent controversial court case with The Sun newspaper in London, regarding coverage of the initial alleged domestic violence claim. Fact or fiction, domestic violence is not a behaviour or moral reflection that brands want to be associated with in 2020. From a public relations standpoint, I’d say that Warner Bros. has done the right thing in cutting ties sooner rather than later.

The trend of brands boycotting working with celebrities, regardless of contracts, is not new to our generation. Since the rise of the #MeToo movement in 2017, society is finally taking a stand on a global scale. This movement of upholding individuals for their actions has impacted the careers of many high profile men in the industry, including but definitely not limited to Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey – and now Johnny Depp.

Maintaining a positive reputation is important in all aspects of life, especially the PR industry. Even for a brand as big as Warner Bros., it’s important to uphold your own brand values and set the tone to your customers where you stand. Whether it’s a brand ambassador caught in a risqué situation, or a major data leak…we have to be ready to jump on it and diffuse the situation. Which is exactly what Warner Bros has done.

By Rachel Demarco – PR/Marketing Manager at InsideOut PR and #AsSeenOn

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