Chanel Responds To TikTok Controversy Over Advent Calendar

Chanel denied deleting its TikTok account in response to a viral video about its advent calendar, saying the account was never active.

PARIS, France – Chanel has responded to online controversy about its advent calendar after being mocked by influencers over the contents of the limited – edition box, resulting in a flood of negative comments on social media in the run – up to its annual Metiers d’Art runway show.

Bruno Pavlovsky, president of fashion and president of Chanel SAS, said the French luxury house produced the calendar as part of this year’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of Chanel No.5 perfume, and it did not expect the negative feedback.

‘This controversy is a bit of a shame because it was not what Chanel intended. Chanel thought it would please some of its customers by offering this type of product. Evidently, we see that you have to be careful and therefore, in future, we will certainly be much more cautions’, Pavlovsky told WWD.

Asked whether this was the first time than Chanel produced an advent calendar, the executive said: ‘No, I don’t think so, but it wasn’t necessarily for sale’. He added that the calendar was produced in a very limited run, which was totally sold out.

A spokesman confirmed it was the first time Chanel had offered a calendar for sale.

This year’s edition retails for $825 and contains 27 boxes numbered from five to 31, containing full – size perfume and makeup products, miniatures and souvenirs all stamped with founder Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel’s lucky number.

In a video that has been viewed 14.7 million times, TikTok creator Elisa Harmon expressed her disappointment over items including stickers, a picture flip – book, a dustbag and a string bracelet with a wax seal – shaped pendant. She later alleged that Chanel’s TikTok account blocked her.

In an official statement, Chanel said the claim was ‘absolutely inaccurate’, as the brand is not active on TikTok.

‘We have never blocked access to the Chanel TikTok account to anyone, because it is simply not active. It has never been activated, no content has event been published, it has no subscriber and no subscription. The page therefore appears empty to anyone who visits it’, the house clarified.

‘When Ms. Harmon visited our page, she naturally found the usual message that she could not access this account, just like anyone else on the network’, it added.

‘We are very committed to sharing out world and our creations with our followers on social networks. Our pages are open to everyone, and millions of followers follow us all over the world. They are of course free to express their feelings and opinions, whether there are enthusiastic or critical, if they respect the rules of good conduct in accordance with the uses of social networks – no defamation, calls to violence, threats, or intimidation’, Chanel said.

‘We are aware of the comments that are currently visible under our publications and are sorry that this calendar may have disappointed some people’, it continued.

‘Directly inspired by the mythical silhouette of the No. 5 bottle, this calendar, only available for a short period, has a unique design and an original content, which makes it a true collector’s item whose value cannot be summed up by the products it contains alone’, Chanel said.

Recent travel banes imposed on South Africa and neighboring countries in response to the discovery of the omicron variant in southern Africa have hammered the country’s safari business, already hard hit by the pandemic.

South Africa’s tourism industry suffered a more than 70% drop in foreign tourists in 2020, with COVID-19 blamed for the drop from about 15 million visitors in 2019 to less than 5 million in 2020. Tourism employs about 4.7% of South Africa’s workforce.

Britain, the largest source of tourists to South Africa, lifted its ‘red list’ travel restrictions on South Africa in October and safari operators were beginning to see an improved outlook for the holiday season and 2022. But then the news of omicron struck, bringing a new round of international restrictions on flights.

South African President Cyril Ramphosa has criticized the travel bans imposed by Britain and many others, including some African countries as ‘hypocritical, harsh and not supported by science’. He denounced the restrictions as ‘travel apartheid’.

South African safari lodges are experiencing cancellations and few new reservation, said Fred Plachesi, owner of the Tamboti Bush Lodge in the Dinokeng Game Reserve, north of the Tshwane metropolitan area, which includes Pretoria.

With only four guests over the weekend, Plachesi said his business is feeling the damage. He believes the travel bans imposed on South Africa are unfair and will have a negative impact on the people of South Africa.

‘I really think it’s very unfair for the country…it’s the South African people and businesses and that suffer’, said Plachesi.

He hopes that many countries will consider their flight bans and allow travel to and from South Africa again.

The year 2022 was looking quite bright because the borders were now open, and everybody was happy’, said Plachesi. ‘We were starting to have confirmations of bookings. It was looking very good’.

But now he is gloomy about the coming year. ‘After this, omicron, it seems that (a slump) is going to happen again like 2021’, he said. ‘So international guests and others then cancel’.

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