Dolce & Gabbana: Racism, Stereotypes, or Being Funny?
(5 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
On November 21, 2018, the Italian luxury fashion brand Dolce & Gabbana (D&G) cancelled a show that was scheduled to take place in Shanghai, China, after controversial video advertisements and private Instagram messages, allegedly sent by Stefano Gabbana himself, went viral. The videos were seen by many to be racist, and they resulted in subsequent boycotts by Chinese celebrities and consumers. As D&G struggled to regain market share in China and suffered huge financial losses, major Chinese e-commerce companies such as Alibaba Group Holding Limited and JD.com Inc. joined the boycott by dropping the brand from their platforms. The Chinese luxury market was large and growing, and experts warned that the brand's profits would suffer from this mistake. What mitigation strategy or actions could D&G undertake to repair the damage done to its reputation, especially in China?
This case can be used for undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on organizational behaviour, marketing and advertising, or cross-cultural management. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to do the following:
- Explain why it is important for business leaders to be culturally sensitive in their marketing campaigns geared toward foreign markets.
- Define the concept of cultural intelligence, and identify the skills and actions needed to develop cultural intelligence.
- Explain how organizations should manage accusations of racism and cultural insensitivity to regain their reputation.
China, Large, 2018
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