D&G's Marketing Missteps in China (B): The Deepening Crisis
On the morning of 21 November 2018, Diet Prada, an Instagram account that uncovered the dark secrets and stories about the fashion industry, posted alleged text messages between Dolce & Gabbana S.R.L. (D&G)'s cofounder Stefano Gabbana and fashion writer Michaela Phuong. In the exchange, Stefano complained about the removal of D&G's videos (#DGLovesChina and #DGTheGreatShow) from Chinese social media Weibo amid an onslaught of criticisms. Stefano's alleged anti-China comments on Instagram, coupled with the D&G videos that were perceived as racist and offensive, prompted a slew of outraged responses not only from the Chinese consumers but also from its own brand ambassadors and celebrity partners in China. Many immediately severed ties with the brand. Following this intense backlash from celebrities and consumers, a number of retailers took swift action to sever connections with D&G and removed its products. Bowing to the public backlash from the controversial videos and the Instagram post, the founders of D&G made a personal apology through a video address. This case is a continuation of D&G's marketing missteps in China (A).