Hit or Miss? Oxfam reacts to Johansson departure over SodaStream conflict

Oxfam hit back following the resignation of global brand ambassador Scarlett Johansson, stating that her work for Sodastream, which has a factory in an Israeli settlement in the West Bank, was "incompatible" with the charity.

Scarlett Johansson: Parted ways with Oxfam
Scarlett Johansson: Parted ways with Oxfam

The statement followed a day after Johansson’s own spokeman had announced her resignation from the Oxfam role, citing a "fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement."

How I See It

Jonathan Oates, MD, corporate, The Red Consultancy

The Super Bowl is all about strategy. And I’m not talking about the rushes, tackles, and Peyton Manning’s passes, but the ads.

With a 30-second spot costing north of $4m dollars, challenger brands like 70s throwback SodaStream have very little room for error.

Super Bowl XLVIII is one that Oxfam will want to forget as they have been caught out badly by the superior PR offence of Ms Johansson and SodaStream.

This is an issue that has been rumbling away for three weeks but in the last few days Oxfam’s assumed paralysis and efforts to be diplomatically discreet left a wide gap in the public conversation that Johansson’s PR team was able to exploit.

Never shying away from the controversy, the actress has delivered a rebuttal seemingly fuelled by a strength of conviction that we are more used to seeing from Oxfam themselves. In doing so, she has also successfully dampened accusations of taking the corporate shilling.

Johansson got to announce her departure, and with that came the privilege of defining the lasting narrative. Her PR team not only extricated her from a vulnerable position, but threw Oxfam under the bus.

Johansson and team SodaStream have managed to elude their tacklers, and even before Sunday’s game kicks off they are enjoying a celebratory dance in the end zone.

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