Mauboy’s Melbourne Cup Shoe crisis building as a PR ‘how not to’ case study

The stoush over Jessica Mauboy’s sudden withdrawal from singing the national anthem at the Melbourne Cup – reportedly over a pair of shoes – is damaging both the Myer and DJ’s brands fashion PR and sponsorship experts agree.

Jessica Mauboy is coming to Seven in The Secret Daughter (landscape)Mauboy pulled out of the centre stage performance with just minutes to go, blaming her decision on fiery argument between minders and event organisers over her wearing David Jones shoes at the Myer-sponsored event.

The story has grabbed the attention of mainstream media and this morning Mauboy revealed to News Corp publications that she panicked as the argument unfolded around her over the “styling mishap”.

John Burgess of Sponsorship HQ, said there was always a danger that things could go wrong with huge, complex events, particularly where stars with personal sponsorship arrangements were concerned.

“Stars are assets that have tiered sponsorships across categories and something that you have to navigate,” said Burgess.

“This was such a public event, it might as well have been Australia’s Superbowl.”

He said that the ongoing publicity surrounding the Mauboy, and reports she was reduced to tears, would not be helping the Myer or David Jones, particularly given how well Mauboy is liked in the community.

Roxy Jacenko, of fashion PR specialist Sweaty Betty, said it was hard to believe the debacle is still unfolding, damaging the images of all involved.

“No one has come out of this looking good,” said Jacenko.  “Whatever it was nip it in the budd. These wardrobes would have been finalised weeks before.”

Jacenko said the shoe issue could be hiding a larger issue, and if so, it should have been made clear from the start, rather than the handling of the whole affair being allowed to boil over

“I just don’t buy it,” she said.

Simon Canning

Disclosure: Roxy Jackenko’s agency Sweaty Betty is currently an advertiser with Mumbrella


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