So it’s not just companies that are tweeting the World Cup that are completely insensitive and out of touch. High-end designer Roberto Cavalli has kicked up some controversy with the new logo for his perfume, Just Cavalli, which closely resembles a symbol for “God” that’s used by Sufi Muslims. Oh goodness.
According to The Gloss, Cavalli’s logo is only slightly different and turned to the side.
“We have this sign that to us represents blessed peace. It’s a refuge. To see it disgraced like this for a company to make money is heartbreaking,” said Nasim Bahadorani, who has organized protests against the company over the ad.
According to The Independent, protests have taken place around the world — in Chicago, London, Texas and Germany — to have the symbol removed.
Cavalli says it has used the logo since 2011. And an EU ruling found in favor of Cavalli, which said the company can use the logo. For its part, Cavalli is sticking to its guns despite the protests, saying they hope the decision will “convince the Sufist religion of the complete good faith and the groundlessness of their requests.”
Clearly, it will not. This is something that Sufi Muslims believe in strongly and they’re not going to back down because of a government decision.
The Gloss notes that the company has run into trouble “for trying to make religious iconography sexy in the past.” Moreover, the logo, the site says, has little to do with the product anyway.
Perhaps the company feels entitled to the symbol because of the ruling. Maybe they just feel like, hey, they don’t have to bow to the demands of everyone who’s going to voice an objection to something they’ve done.
But really, wouldn’t the company’s reputation benefit from showing a little compassion and inclusivity? The company could use this as an opportunity to introduce a new and sexy logo that doesn’t offend a whole population.
This should serve as a learning experience for all companies: Do a little extra research. Ask for a little more feedback. In this globalized world, learn a little more about people and places far and wide and make your marketing efforts that much better. Cavalli could end this whole controversy and they’re not.