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D&G’s Marketing Missteps in China (C): The Epilogue

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In November 2018, Dolce & Gabbana S.R.L. (D&G) faced a serious brand crisis following the release of three short videos on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter as well as Sina Weibo in China to promote its first-ever fashion show in mainland China. The brand crisis was further exacerbated by derogatory comments alleged to have been made by the cofounder, Stefano Gabbana, on Instagram.  The failure of D&G to take swift action to quell the controversy triggered by the videos had resulted in cancellation of the Shanghai catwalk event and a public relations disaster.  This case summarises the reputational damage caused by the crisis and initial marketing efforts made by D&G to rebuild its image in China from the end of 2018 up to May 2019.  It is the third case of a three-part case series and should be used in conjunction with Case A (D&G’s Marketing Missteps in China (A):  How to Balance Fashion Brand Strategy and Cultural Sensitivity?) and Case B (D&G’s marketing missteps in china (B)–The Deepening crisis).


Learning Objective:

This case could be used to lead class discussions in advertising, cultural sensitivity, crisis management, and communication as well as international marketing/advertising.  The teaching objectives of the case are to:

  • Discuss the difficulties of using humor in advertising and how social and cultural values play an important role in influencing consumers’ responses to such strategy.

  • Discuss the potential advantages and risks of using humorous appeals in advertising campaigns.

  • Understand the concept of crisis management and communication and the damages caused by ineffective handling of crisis communication.

  • Identify barriers to effective crisis management and learning and examine how learning from crisis can be maximized.

  • Illustrate the significant effect of social media in escalating a crisis situation.

  • Understand the power of social media and explore ways to integrate social media channels into the crisis management and communication process.

  • Demonstrate the value of crisis communication timing for reputations.

  • Understand how to repair reputational damage and rebuild long-term corporate image after a crisis.

  • Discuss ways to prevent the recurrence of similar crisis.

Year of Publication: 2019
Ref. No.: 19/646C
Discipline: Marketing, Strategy & General Management
Industry: Apparel, Accessories and Luxury Goods, Consumer Goods
Country: China (People's Rep. of)
Company: Dolce & Gabbana S.R.L. (D&G)
Languages: English
Pages of Text: 3