Controversy spurs Rimmel to gather Moss

We were naturally shocked last month to learn that all 40 pounds of Kate Moss uses cocaine. Or at least we pretended to be for the sake of...well, really, we have no idea why everyone is pretending to be so shocked.

We were naturally shocked last month to learn that all 40 pounds of Kate Moss uses cocaine. Or at least we pretended to be for the sake of...well, really, we have no idea why everyone is pretending to be so shocked.

It took less than a week for every company on contract with Moss to fire her after the Daily Mirror ran photos of the model getting high in London during New York's Fashion Week, where nobody has ever done any drugs before.

Chanel, Burberry, and H&M all fired the 31-year-old, with the latter saying she failed to present the "wholesome" image H&M expects of its models. Perhaps they had taken the nickname "Snow White" too literally.

One by one, the always-pious fashion world distanced itself from the waif until all eyes were on her one remaining employer: cosmetics giant Rimmel.

Rimmel brazenly announced last week that it would not just keep Moss on contract, but it will, intentionally or not, play off her public troubles.

In two new TV ads for Rimmel's Recovery line of cosmetics - designed to mask the effects of too much partying - Moss will be shown living it up supermodel - style, then using the product to make herself presentable. The ads were reportedly shot before the photos were published.

Rimmel was harshly criticized for "endorsing" Moss' habit, but it only resulted in more coverage for the company, whose decision was widely debated in the media.

Nobody wants to encourage hard drug use, but Rimmel deserves credit for not further masking the industry's addiction problem by acting surprised to learn that there was gambling going on in their own casino.

  • Douglas Quenqua writes PR Play of the Week. He is PRWeek's news editor.

Ratings:
1. Clueless
2. Ill-advised
3. On the right track
4.
5. Ingenious

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