Prada protests escalate

Labour Behind the Label drafts in Bright Young Things to support Prada workers.

An NGO fighting for better working conditions across the world has called in agency support to mobilise fashionistas against Prada.

Labour Behind the Label (LBL) is demanding the fashion label takes action following recent employment controversy in its Turkish supplier factory.

It has brought in Bright Young Things Communications to add weight to a campaign it kicked off last week through a protest outside Prada's London store.

The NGO wants shoppers to put pressure on the designer label to resolve a situation in its DESA supplier factory in Turkey, where several ex-workers have taken the factory to court. The workers claim they were fired for their trade union activities.

Bright Young Things is targeting fashion bloggers. In particular it will try to secure high profile interviews in broadcast media and the quality press for the woman at the centre of the controversy, trade union leader Emine Arslan.

'LBL is trying to reach out to younger women and women who shop a lot; not just the traditional campaigning sector,' said Kate Lawson, account manager at the agency.

Initial activity will be aimed at forcing a meeting between trade union representatives and the DESA factory by the end of the month.

So far, some of the court judgments have found in favour of the workers, saying they should be reinstated. But the majority of the cases are still at the appeal stage.

Prada's director of financial media relations Andrea Gaudenzi told PRWeek the contract it had in place with the fac-tory demanded high ethical standards.

He added: 'We have used all the instruments available to a company to find objective proof that the factory is going against our contract.'

Gaudenzi said Prada inspected the factory once a week, and that there had been five independent audits that found no wrongdoing. 'There is no evidence that what the trade union says is true,' he said.

Burak Celet, general manager of DESA, also denied any wrongdoing in the factory.

Bright Young Things will help promote LBL's other urgent appeals to consumers on an ongoing pro bono basis, such as the recent campaign against the budget retailer Primark.

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