News 15 September 2020

John Boyega Quits Jo Malone Ambassador Role Following Chinese Ad Controversy

15 September 2020

Hollywood star John Boyega has resigned from his role as an ambassador for Jo Malone after the brand cut him out of an advert being displayed in China.

Named A London Gent, the advert was directed by and starred John Boyega and was also shot in his hometown of Peckham in south London.

However, a new version of the advert was shot for the Chinese market which axed Joh Boyega from all scenes as well as the inclusion of any other black actors.

Over the weekend, Jo Malone issued an apology to John Boyega for what they called a “misstep” that caused “offence” but John Boyega has now officially quit his role as an ambassador for the brand, saying he doesn’t “have time for nonsense”.

Taking to Twitter, he wrote: “I have decided to step down as Jo Malone’s global ambassador.
When I joined the brand as their first male global ambassador last year, I created the short film we used to launch the campaign. It won the Fragrance Foundation Virtual awards 2020 for Best Media Campaign.”

“Their decision to replace my campaign in China by using my concepts and substituting a local brand ambassador for me, without either my consent or prior notice, was wrong,” he continued. 

“The film celebrated my personal story– showcasing my hometown, including my friends and featuring my family.

He added: “While many brands understandably use a variety of global and local ambassadors , dismissively trading out one’s culture this way is not something I can condone.

“It’s back to back but I assure you this will be dealt with swiftly. I don’t have time for nonsense. We press on and strong. Stay blessed people.”

In a statement yesterday (September 14), Jo Malone said: “We deeply apologise for what, on our end, was a mistake in the local execution of the John Boyega campaign.”

The brand has since removed the advert from its campaign in China.