Let’s Tune In To The EU’s Periphery: Chiara Ferragni, PandoroGate and EasterEggGate

Nicholas Zalewski
Chiara Ferragni holding the infamous pandoro. Source: Milano Corriere

While being an influencer may be a dream for some, Italy’s most famous influencer has not been able to catch a break for quite some time. Kim Kardashian may dominate the American market but in Italy a petite blonde is the queen of social media with 29 million Instagram followers. Chiara Ferragni suffered public backlash after consumers became outraged as they felt they were misled by her social media campaign for Balocco in 2021. Consumers were under the impression that for every pandoro bought from Balocco, money would be donated to the Regina Margherita hospital in Turin in order to support treatment for children. Instead, Balocco donated 50,000 euros as a one-time donation. Some Italian social media users have thoroughly enjoyed the scandal and have made numerous videos poking fun at Chiara. The example below teases Chiara for stating that it was an errore di communicazione (mistake in communication) that consumers were not aware of how much of the sales of the branded pandoro would go to help the children. The video is clever and every time she apologizes Chiara is drawn with the jumpsuit from the infamous apology video.

One of the numerous examples of a video poking fun at Chiara.

In Italy, a fierce rivalry exists between two types of Christmas cakes, panettone and pandoro. What is typically seen as a lighthearted competition between the two cakes was not the case last December. The latter has become entangled in a scandal that has gripped the nation due to a social media campaign between an influencer and Balocco, a manufacturer of pandoro.

To try to rectify the situation, Chiara donated a million euros to Regina Margherita hospital. Nonetheless, she has lost favor and Coca-Cola announced that it would no longer sponsor her during Sanremo, Italy’s famous singing competition which inspired the creation of Eurovision. Currently the winner of Sanremo becomes Italy’s contestant in Eurovision. During Sanremo Chiara normally does an advertisement for Coca-Cola, but not this year. Her companies were also fined 1,075,000 euros in an antitrust investigation. Pandoro cakes featuring Chiara’s packaging were sold for 9 euros while those without Chiara’s name were sold for only 3,7 euros. The investigation alleges that this price discrepancy could lead consumers to believe that by paying almost triple the price, they were spending more to donate to benefit sick children, despite the donation not depending on how many pandoro were sold. Balocco was fined 420,000 euros for misleading consumers as well. 

Other Scandals 

While Chiara donated a million euros to the hospital for the treatment of children, people are not ready to let her off the hook as this is not the only example of Chiara earning more money than the charity. Chiara released a line of Easter eggs with her brand designs and produced by Dolci Preziosi in 2021 and 2022. The easter eggs were going to benefit FATE, a charity started by Franco Antonello, a man with an autistic child, yet again Chiara earned more money than the charity. In 2021, Chiara was paid 500,000 euros and in 2022 she was compensated with 700,000 euros. Dolci Preziosi admitted that the company refused to collaborate with her in 2023 as she requested exorbitant compensation. Franco Antonello refused the company to make the claim that the donation would be linked to the sales of the eggs and instead allowed the eggs to be advertised with “we support the children of FATE. In 2021, Dolci Preziosi donated 12,000 euros then doubled the amount to 24,000 euros paid in 2022. Justifiably this has caused outrage as the donations are worth only 3 percent of what Chiara was paid to help advertise eggs which would be sold for the purpose of charity. 

While some of the outrage can be blamed on jealousy by people who wish they were able to work as influencers, it is clear there can also be anger by what appears to be her greed as well. In Italy, the average monthly wage was 1,741 euros meanwhile Chiara earned 287 times this amount in 2021 and 402 times this amount in 2022 for a social media campaign that was advertised to be for the benefit of charity. 

Chiara Ferragni at a protest in Milan. Source: Il Giorno

It doesn’t stop here however. Chiara Ferragni was pictured at a protest with a cardboard sign with “we should all be feminists” written in English on it. Rather than being a heartfelt statement of her beliefs in women’s rights however, it turns out the slogan is also written on a t-shirt being sold by Dior for 750 euros which Chiara is also pictured wearing. Influencers have the ability to have their own political beliefs and capacity to support charities, yet it becomes disingenuous when these views are then connected to the influencer benefiting significantly financially, more so than the charitable causes.

Chiara Ferragni wears a 750 euro Dior shirt with the exact saying on her sign at the protest. Source: Milano Today

Has Not Lost Her Influence

Chiara Ferragni helps sell out jumpsuit she wore in her apology video. Source: Il Messaggero

Despite facing public backlash, Chiara still remains popular amongst her fans. This is evident from her apology video as the jumpsuit she wears became sold out from the brand’s website. The jumpsuit is not cheap either, and costs 600 euros.  In the video Chiara mimics the typical apology video seen from female American YouTubers who remove their make-up to try to seem more relatable to their viewers.

Potential Legal Impact

Besides being debated by the public, Italian politicians have also been discussing the scandal. The cabinet of the current Italian government is ready to propose legislation to prevent Italian consumers from being misled into thinking that a product is donating more to charity than it is in reality. The law would require manufacturers advertising a product as benefiting a charity to include the exact percentage of the price being donated or the exact amount of a one time payment to charity. If not, manufacturers can face fines of 50,000 euros

Conclusion

While the internet is usually flooded with stories of American influencers getting in trouble for their involvement in various scandals, Chiara has proved that European influencers are not perfect either. Another important lesson that people can take away from this is that when charity or political issues are involved, people will not be very kind to those who attempt to enrich themselves. It is best to be sincere or others may lose their trust in us.

Please Read The Following For More Information:

Sim, B. “Chiara Ferragni, la crisi continua: Coca-Cola ferma lo spot. E si apre un nuovo caso sulle bambole” Il Sole 24 ore. 5 Gennaio 2024. 

“Chiara Ferragni, prima il pandoro poi le uova: “Oltre 1 milione a lei e solo 36mila euro in beneficenza”. Milano Today. 

Coviello, Monica. “Chiara Ferragni e la multa da un milione di euro per i pandori Balocco”. Vanity Fair. 15 December 2023. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/u312907712/domains/thenewglobalorder.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/swifty-bar/includes/class-sb-bar-social.php on line 138

Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/u312907712/domains/thenewglobalorder.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/swifty-bar/includes/class-sb-bar-social.php on line 175

Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/u312907712/domains/thenewglobalorder.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/swifty-bar/includes/class-sb-bar-social.php on line 175

Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/u312907712/domains/thenewglobalorder.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/swifty-bar/includes/class-sb-bar-social.php on line 175

Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/u312907712/domains/thenewglobalorder.com/public_html/wp-content/plugins/swifty-bar/includes/class-sb-bar-social.php on line 175

Let’s Tune In To The EU…

by Nicholas Zalewski time to read: 5 min
0