Chiara Ferragni – an Italian blogger, businesswoman, fashion designer, and model – is being asked to surrender a fine of $1.1 million for launching a fake charitable campaign.
Ferragni pockets $1.1 million from a charity campaign
Charitable campaigns are, well, for a cause, so proceeds should go to the beneficiary and shouldn’t go into the pocket of just anybody. But Ferragni is finding herself categorized in the latter.
Last year, the Italian influencer partnered with Balocco to launch a pandoro bearing Ferragni’s logo. Balocco is an Italian food company founded in 1927. Its pandoro refers to a typical Christmas cake.
Now, the pandoros with her logo were said to have been priced at almost $10, which was triple its usual price. Why so? The product claimed its sales would be donated to the Regina Margherita pediatric hospital in Turin.
However, allegations came out that the donation, in reality, amounting to $55,000 had already been made by Balocco even before the sale commenced. Moreover, the 36-year-old influencer allegedly pocketed $1.1 million from that campaign.
Because of what had been discovered, Ferragni was forced to issue a public apology and post it on social media, which she did.
In a video she posted on her official Instagram account a few days ago, she apologized for having made “a communication error” regarding the Christmas cake and announced she would donate the money she had “pocketed” to the hospital in Turin, as what had been originally planned.
Did she just admit it? That apology video was the last she posted and she has been silent on her Instagram account lately.
More dubious charity campaigns
It turns out that the Balocco campaign wasn’t the only charitable initiative that took the wrong way.
Prosecutors are also investigating two Easter campaigns in 2021 and 2022, this time involving Dolci Preziosi, also a food brand, which teamed up with Ferragni’s business as well. The “charity”: for children with autism.
However, it is alleged that the campaign raised more than $1.1 million, but the donation only amounted to almost $40,000. The investigators are figuring out if this was a commercial operation disguised as a charitable cause.
That’s not the end. A high-end eyewear brand, Safilo Group – which is also the designer of luxury brands like Jimmy Choo and Carolina Herrera – broke its ties with Ferragni.
Safilo is among the many sponsors and companies withdrawing their collaborations with the Italian influencer.