INTERNATIONAL: Dior faces pressure over its new scent

LOS ANGELES: Parfums Christian Dior faced a fresh PR assault last week over claims that the name and marketing of its new scent, Dior Addict, trivialises a serious medical problem.

Campaigning organisation Faces and Voices of Recovery (FaVoR) director Rick Sampson said: 'It paints a picture of glamour around addiction, and addiction is anything but glamorous. They are cheapening the whole notion of recovery.'

The PR campaign, dubbed 'Addiction is not Fashionable,' centres around media outreach and a letter-writing effort, and could expand to include rallies outside retailers carrying the product, and boycotts of fashion magazines featuring Addict ads.

Last week, FaVoR launched a series of national press conferences to promote its message that addiction is a medical problem, not a social choice.

The effort also picked up aid from government agencies such as the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

'This is a problem that millions of Americans are struggling with, and the idea of using this disease as a marketing tool is really abhorrent,' said ONDCP director of public affairs Tom Riley, pointing out that more than six million people in the US have drug dependency problems.

Outlets such as USA Today and CNN have now picked up the story, and FaVoR head of communications Susan Rook, a former CNN reporter, is set to travel the US for a spate of media appearances.

'This has expanded from a couple of women talking to one another, to an international grassroots effort,' said Rook, citing interest in the PR campaign from as far away as Thailand and Australia.

Dior was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.

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