Kicking up a stink in the name of self-esteem

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The plight of parents’ pressure group PinkStinks has been generating a lot of interest in the media including today’s Daily Mail.

In a classic David and Goliath story, PinkStinks lobbied The Prince’s Trust about its support for St. Tropez’s ‘Self-Esteem’ campaign and won.  Focusing on aesthetics, the campaign involved a video with an infamously pasty Kelly Osbourne claiming the fake tan has made her feel better about herself. She was also airbrushed to perfection.

The Prince’s Trust, on the other hand, aims to build young people up and encourage them to obtain the life they want, rather than the one they have been dealt. It helps them to achieve more through training and offers grants for setting up community schemes.

PinkStink’s argument was that the mixed messages about self-esteem – not forgetting the airbrushing – were damaging.  A perfectly valid point.  The Daily Mail reports that St. Tropez has been a corporate sponsor for the Trust for over two years so this is a real coup for PinkStinks.  It demonstrates that the consumer really does have a voice and is a source to be reckoned with.

As The Prince’s Trust works at building young people’s confidence and skills, the Trust really should have thought about the connotations of the Self-Esteem campaign. This latest debacle is an excellent example of how organisations must carefully consider all aspects of their affiliations, whether with celebrities or companies, before putting their name to a potentially damaging partnership.