Over the past two months, Lindsay Lohan has been the subject of an ongoing court case, and the media has given an overwhelming amount of focus to Lohan’s clothing choices for her court appearances. The New York Times for instance, published an article titled “Turning the Perp Walk Into a Runway Strut,” while others have started using the catch phrase “felony fashion” for Lohan’s courtroom attire. Lohan however, is an entertainer in the constant media spotlight; it is a given that she will wear designer dresses. Pictured below, the outfits are really not all that bad, and definitely don’t deserve the amount of negative publicity being given.
While journalists and photographers have been exhausting all of their focus onto researching the designers behind Lohan’s garments, the public has not received a clear picture of the PR tactics used Kamofie & Company– the store accusing Lohan of necklace theft.
On January 22nd of this year, a necklace worth $2,500 was reported missing from the jewellery boutique in Venice, CA. Surveillance tapes showed Lohan trying on the necklace, and leaving the store with it still on. She was charged with felony grand theft, and pleaded not guilty, citing a miscommunication with her stylist. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for April 22nd, where it will be decided if there is enough evidence for Lohan to stand trial.
Kamofie & Company hired PR Crisis Management Expert Christopher Spencer from Spencer Company as their official media spokesman, after they accused Lohan of the theft. Since then, three main PR strategies have been employed: hyping up and selling video footage from the store’s surveillance cameras to the media, announcing that they will auction off the bracelet and give the proceeds to charity, and stirring up rumours of a potential book deal about the entire incident.
According to Spencer, “customers have stayed away from the store because of the paparazzi and the controversy.” Really? A small boutique accuses superstar Lindsay Lohan of theft, becomes world-famous, and people aren’t flocking to the store?
Spencer Company created www.necklacevideo.com to provide the public with press releases and news updates regarding the prosecution’s side of the case. They sold the video footage from the store’s surveillance tapes to the Associated Press for $35,000, who in turn gave exclusive airing rights to Entertainment Tonight. Prosecuting lawyers are rumoured to have tried to dissuade store from selling the video footage, as it calls their intent into question.
According to Spencer, “the money that will be recouped from the release of the video won’t come close to covering the losses. There’s no profit motive”. So apparently $35,000 doesn’t cover the losses of a necklace valued at $2,500.
Their next PR move was to announce that they would auction off the necklace and donate the proceeds to charity. The store owners invite the public to suggest possible charities, through the necklacevideo.com website. But—the auction will not take place anytime soon, as the necklace is still being held as evidence by the LA District Attorney.
The latest update with this news story was reported last month—rumours that Spencer was shopping around for a book deal for Kamofie & Company. He contacted Sharlene Martin, a literary agent who specializes in crime-related books, about a possible book deal, but she told him that the necklace incident was “a moment, not a book.”
Clearly, owners of Kamofie & Company have let the publicity get to their heads. What began as a legal case with a judge and a court room, has advanced into an attempt to climb up the publicity ladder by employing pretentious PR tactics. They hired a PR Crisis Management expert to represent them to the media. But really, what crisis did they face, besides the loss of a single necklace?
Criminal Defence Lawyer Steve Sadow says it perfectly: “The pursuit of a book deal, coupled with the sale of the surveillance video, clearly demonstrates that the owner is interested in money and publicity, and has trumped up the allegations against Ms. Lohan to further his own interests, not to seek justice.”
Sources: Radaronline, TMZ, Celebrything, Photo Credit: TMZ, Zimbio