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  • What can brands do to atone for their mistakes?
  • What can brands do to atone for their mistakes?
    Hello Revival (2019) ©
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Say sorry! The science of brand forgiveness

We all have our favourite brand, the one we support unswervingly or whose products we buy no matter the price. So what do you do when they slip up – whether it’s a campaign or a corporate move that goes against what you believe? What will it take for you to forgive them? 

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In Autumn 2019, French fashion house Dior launched an ad for Sauvage, a men's fragrance fronted by Johnny Depp. The spot, set in a desert landscape, featured a Native American dancing in classic regalia and a wolfskin-clad girl, while Johnny Depp finds an electric guitar and begins to play it. The frames follow with the words, ‘We are the land’. Amid backlash regarding its appropriation of Native American culture and insensitivity, the ad was pulled after two weeks of circulation, as Native American advocacy groups explained that the company was “looking to profit off of ...

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