17-year-old Canadian heartthrob Justin Bieber wants you to buy his new perfume line called Someday, and when you do all net profits “after taxes, royalties, expenses and company requirements are deducted” will go to Pencils of Promise, a school-building charity and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Bieber’s promotional partner for Someday, a New York outfit called Give Back Brands, promises to donate its Someday profits to “restoring after-school programs” and “school food programs.” Someday appears to be Give Back’s only product right now.
But this isn’t just a straight transactional cause marketing promotion. Instead, Bieber has split the middle between a straight-ahead cause marketing promotion and an all-benefits brand of the type that Rachael Ray uses in her dog food line called Nutrish.
It’s hard to say whether or not Bieber is making any scratch on this deal. Royalties is one way celebrities make money from endorsements. But I’m willing to give him the benefit of a doubt.
However, in the wake of a $5 million class-action lawsuit filed in June 2011 against Lady Gaga for the way she sold a special bracelet meant to benefit Japan earthquake relief, the fact is Bieber and Give Back Brands need to be a little more transparent here.
Bieber’s rabid fans probably don’t care require an exact breakdown of the transaction, but for the sake of prudence Bieber needs to be more precise.
The fact of the matter is that Paul Newman, the first celebrity to build his own “all benefits company,” set a very high standard of probity and frankness with ‘Newman’s Own.’ And both regular folks and the blood-sucking lawyers who filed suit against Lady Gaga expect model behavior from celebrities.
All the more so since Justin Bieber made a reported $53 million last year. Bieber has a great backstory: he grew up in a household with a below poverty-level income headed by his single mother, Pattie Mallette, and was discovered on YouTube barely three years ago. People love that stuff.
Nonetheless, when you make $53 million people also love to tear you down. The smartest thing Bieber and Give Back Brands could do with Someday is give a very precise accounting of how much money flows in and how much flows out and to whom.
Labels: Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Make-A-Wish, Newman's Own, Paul Newman, Pencils of Promise, Rachael Ray, Someday