The Empire Strikes Back?

Blogging about anything falls into a funny grey area when it comes to the big corporations we are writing about. These megaliths are used to having their way when it comes to presenting their products for the best possible outcome for the company. Then there is the community of passionate supporters who eat away at this perfect corporate world.

Those of us who write about perfume not as a job but out of a sense of love and passion got a look recently at what happens when one of the big corporations wants to use their resources against us. About a week ago I woke up to find my social media blowing up because the parent corporate entity which owns Guerlain, LVMH, had the blogger Monsieur Guerlain removed from Facebook and Instagram. In response Monsieur Guerlain took down his blog and removed all other social media accounts. The short version is Monsieur Guerlain linked to another website’s story on some future Guerlain releases for 2016. LVMH decided this was beyond what could be tolerated and took the action that it did. (If you want the complete story along with the legal implications please check out this link from Kafkaesque which covers it all thoroughly).

darth force choke

I Find Your Lack of Compliance….Disturbing.

What is chilling being this action was taken against a blog that for ten years has been one of the greatest resources for all things Guerlain. The man behind the blog truly loves everything Guerlain. That passion reverberates on every syllable on that website. That LVMH has made the decision to obliterate that resource with their strong-arm tactics is worrisome.

Unfortunately, it looks like the Death Star that is LVMH has also been busy looking out for their other brands. Earlier this year Fragrantica published an early piece on the upcoming Dior Poison Girl. They were fairly quickly asked to remove it which they did. That is the biggest perfume blog in the world with the most readers. Still LVMH decided there was no need to have any advance word about their product to that passionate community.

There is one commonality to both of these cases. The linked story that Monsieur Guerlain posted carried a bit of criticism of the upcoming releases. The Fragrantica Dior Poison Girl article was done in a neutral tone but the commenters were critical, almost harshly so. Which leaves the open question was it the early knowledge or the implied criticism of the direction of these venerable brands which caused the heavy handed response? We will get no satisfactory answer but it seems safe to say the perfumed blogosphere will take this as a warning that our little rebel forces are no longer being tolerated by the Empire that is LVMH.

The good news is after a coordinated effort from a number of bloggers, lead by the aforementioned Kafkaesque, over the removal of Monsieur Guerlain; the Facebook page was restored. It will be interesting to see if Guerlain was able to exert pressure to get the Empire to stand down.

Mark Behnke

Leave a Reply

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

*