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For Pete’s sake… Someone needs a PR agency

A few years ago, Pete Evans was one of Australia’s most bankable foodies, helping reel in hundreds of thousands of viewers on reality juggernaut My Kitchen Rules.

But today his reputation is in tatters after a series of spectacular scandals not only derailed his career, but also cost him a fortune in cancelled TV appearances and future advertising deals.

The celebrity chef has been raising eyebrows with his controversial health views for years, but in 2020 he went a step further, emerging as a coronavirus conspiracy theorist.

But many believe the final straw came this week when he shared – and later deleted – a cartoon on social media which featured the Black Sun neo-Nazi symbol.

Public relations expert Nicole Reaney said Evans had evolved from an “alluring product partner” to “handballing sporadic grenades that disrupt brands” in recent years, making him a liability for many businesses.

“His contentious views present a risk to brands, who would be on the receiving end of public commentary. These brands would be receiving a huge amount of pressure from the community to sever ties,” she said.

“He’s a serial agitator and unfortunately leaves brands uncertain of what they’re buying into.”

But she said while his “outbursts” would make it difficult to regain the trust of some brands, others might come knocking.

“On the other hand, brands that are controversial in nature may steer towards a personality like Pete,” she said.

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Nicole Reaney, Director of InsideOut PR and founder of influencer agency, #AsSeenOn . Nicole has extensive experience in corporate and consumer PR and Communications and is available to comment on topics.

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