In recent years, foreign luxury brands in China have heavily relied on celebrities to enhance brand recognition and gain customer loyalty. Though it can bring about repercussions when brands work with someone who does not fit their image, partnering with celebrities can at least bring a substantial amount of traffic and attention on social media. Marketers can then leverage this attention to promote products and tell brand stories.
Making celebrities the public face of brands, nonetheless, has become an increasingly difficult task nowadays, which requires marketers to understand the political, cultural and social reality of China and vet potential brand ambassadors.
In recent months, the Chinese government has rolled out a series of measures to regulate celebrity and entertainment circles. The following are several issues that the Chinese government and online citizens show zero tolerance for:
Drugs are totally forbidden in China . This includes marijuana
, which has been legalized in many nations around the world. In 2015, the Chinese government passed a regulation that stipulates that celebrities who are involved in drug-related scandals cannot appear in TV shows, advertisements, films, etc. and brands that work with them have to drop their contracts.
2. Political Stance
It is equally important to check the political stance of celebrities before hiring them. In China , the public cannot promote Taiwanese and Tibetan independence. It is also unacceptable to criticize the country’s political system and leaders or publicly show affinity
3. Extramarital affairs
The Chinese online community also has zero tolerance for celebrities’ extramarital affairs. Extramarital scandals cause substantially more uproar
on the Chinese internet and the unfaithful party is often harshly criticized for his or her unethical behavior. In recent years, the Chinese populace has at times voluntarily boycotted celebrities who are involved in this type of scandal.
4. Charity Fraud
For Chinese celebrities, it is a highly valuable practice for them to participate in philanthropic
activities. The government and the public like to see them give their time or money for a cause. However, once the celebrity is involved in charity fraud, they will receive harsh rebuke from both the Chinese government and the public.
5. Unethical Business Practices
Nowadays, many Chinese celebrities have their own businesses along with their careers as actors or singers. Therefore, luxury brands have to ensure that they are aware of the kind of businesses that their celebrity partners have been running. Otherwise, once the celebrity involves in unethical business practices, they may also get into trouble.