Sometimes having a blog is not quite the blessing it seems, especially if you’re like me and let things fester in your brain til breaking point. If I didn’t have a blog, I’d probably just yell out my frustrations to a friend but since I do have a blog, the temptation to yell out to thousands of people is sometimes just irresistible.. like today.
Who’s got me riled? Chanel. I’ve barely posted a single thing about the brand in recent months, and why? Because for reasons known only to themselves, I don’t hear a single word from them anymore. And, while this rankles, it’s not quite the tragedy you’d think. They’re not rocking my world these days with lacklustre collections that aren’t anything like the collections of old.
The last time I heard anything from them was pre the Harrods Chanel exhibition. We had a slightly awkward cup of tea a couple of weeks before when the penny truly dropped that they didn’t ‘get’ blogging, bloggers or their influence, and in my view, nor did they care really. They were ticking a ‘meet with blogger’ box but as I tried to talk more about blogging it was to blank faces.
What’s disappointing really is that on the whole I couldn’t have been more supportive of the brand; I’m Chanel obsessed. I collect Chanel jewellery (faux, not the diamond kind!); I buy Chanel bags (when I can afford them). I got a beautiful Chanel quilted purse from Mr BBB for my birthday, and my whole love affair with the brand is totally soured by being on the press list, off the press list, on the press list, off the press list, throughout my whole beauty writing career. In fact, I’ve been writing about Chanel beauty for about fifteen years fairly consistently.
One of the invitations that is in high demand amongst fashion and beauty journalists is an invitation to the Chanel sample sale where past season bags go for a mere £200 with the money going to charity. I’ve been twice, ever, in that fifteen years. Most recently when I was dropped yet again from that list, I did speak up for myself and said actually, I quite minded about it. They said there was more to life than bags.
Insiders tell me that prestige press offices have a top ten publication list and as long as they’re in those, they really don’t care about much else. Chanel are heavy advertisers in glossy mags so that’s where they expect to read about their products in heavy supply. But, actually, pricing your cosmetic arm so that it is just affordable to practically everyone means that the customer profile isn’t quite so top ten. In fact, anyone and everyone can and does buy Chanel make-up if they can stump up the £18 plus for a nail polish. I think Chanel make most of their money from their fragrances, some of which are consistently in the top selling lists around the world day in, day out. They don’t need the average consumer at all. But, other brands in a similar position also don’t ‘need’ the average customer but you’d never, ever know it, and you’d certainly never know it via the press office. It has long since riled those beauty editors not in the ‘top ten’ listing but whose readers have money the same colour as everyone else’s that they can’t winkle out even the tiniest bit of information. It’s make up, not state secrets.
I give up: I’m not about to chase them – there was a time when I might have – because there are so many brands that I’d rather give attention to that are doing truly innovative and amazing things in the beauty world and not just shovelling out another striped bronzer. So, does that mean they win? I’m not sure really, but significantly, I really don’t care.
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