The Egyptian artist Mohamed Ramadan is facing another controversy for taking a picture hugging an artist and a footballer in Dubai. He was accused of normalizing with the Zionist entity, and not only betraying the Palestinians but also the Egyptians.
The uproar and outrage were created, when the Israeli Government posted the picture on social media claiming that arts bring nations closer. The post created a controversy on social media. But the celebrity denied knowing the nationality of the people who take pictures with him. However, the Egyptian Actors Syndicate decided to ban him from acting until the investigations are over.
This is the third controversy of the Egyptian actor this year. And every time there is a trending hashtag to boycott Mohamed Ramadan and all his work. But this time the hashtags and posts on social media are more serious. The controversy is quite serious and the audience is following it closely.
Ramadan is not only an actor and singer, but he is also a brand ambassador for a couple of brands especially Etisalat.
What does Brand Ambassador mean?
A celebrity endorser or brand ambassador is a promoter or a person who is hired to represent a brand positively. His role is to increase brand awareness and also influence their audience to buy from a particular brand or buy a certain product.
Marketers use brand ambassadors to pass from the positive image of the celebrity to the product or service. To succeed in this kind of advertisement, the influencer, or celebrity should have the same values and ethics as the brand.
However, brand ambassadors’ controversies and scandals can affect public perception of the brand they are associated with. It can even change the values of the brand. Because the positive image, the person was benefiting from quickly turned into a negative one, and he loses all the notoriety. The controversy harms the brand the celebrity endorses.
What should brands do when their brand ambassador is involved in a controversy?
The company or brand image and the celebrity or influencer’s image becomes linked to each other. However, some people say that the brand won’t be affected and some believe that the consumer’s perception of the brand changes. In both cases, the brand needs to reduce the damages and also the risks.
The brand or the company should:
- React quickly: Whatever the brand’s decision is, it needs to react quickly before people take their anger on the brand instead of the influencer or celebrity. But, remember, haste does not mean speed. Haste may cause you brand attacks.
- Talking to the partner: The influencer or artist remains your partner, you need to talk to him, and understand the situation and the details before taking an action. Reach out privately to your brand ambassador and talk about the controversy, to understand their intentions.
- Issuing a statement: The first thing a brand should do is apologizing on the celebrity’s behalf, and make amends if they are needed. If not, the brand can show support to the party that was offended or insulted.
- Reminding people of your beliefs: The brand should somewhat take its defense, by reminding people of their values and beliefs, to clarify the brand’s position and standpoint.
- Disassociating from the ambassadors: Many brands terminate the contract with their partners as soon as they get involved in controversies or scandals. It’s the brand’s right, especially if it’s mentioned in the contract. Other companies prefer to stand by the influencer.
What brands and companies need to remember is when a brand ambassador or an influencer gets involved in controversies or has a negative behavior, the brand needs to let the customers know the brand’s position on the issue.
Companies are obliged to provide an answer. They need to issue a statement stating that the behavior does not represent the company’s behavior, they can even stop the partnership. They can restrain from talking about the issue if the behavior aligns with their values.