PR Crisis: Nicki Minaj vs Giuseppe

Nicki Minaj, rapper and designer, is known for her risque word play and has no reservation when it comes to putting someone in their place.

This morning was no different when she put designer Giuseppe on blast for creating a sneaker line using her name but refused to answer her calls to discuss (stated Minaj on Twitter).

According to Minaj, when she met Giuseppe Zanotti, he told her she inspired him and at that point designed a sneaker for Minaj. Since then, she has never been in talks with the designer about creating a full line using her name or likeness.

As a Barb myself, I can tell you that Minaj’s followers have not and will not take this lightly. They have already began to troll Giuseppe on social media using the hashtag #GiuseppeWhatsGood

This brings up a great point that every business owner needs to understand. You cannot use someone’s likeness without their knowledge or permission and get away with it. As a business owner, you are fully responsible for the repercussions that may come with doing so. With Giuseppe being an international brand, you would assume they would have thought this one through. Apparently not!

Another thing to consider as a business owner is having a crisis PR plan in place in the event that an incident were to occur. The scenarios would depend on the industry you work in. For example, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams went through a PR crisis when listeria was found in their food on two separate occasions. In this case, they were proactive and had a plan in place to combat this. Two things to consider when creating a crisis plan for your business:

    1. What are common risks that I may face in this industry?
    2. What will be my first action items if said events were to occur?

As for Giuseppe, Minaj has given the company 24 hours to call her and from there, it is still in the air as to what will happen. For now she is running a poll and allowing her followers to dictate the fate of Giuseppe.

TJE Communications is a digital marketing agency set out to level the playing field for small, women owned businesses. For business inquiries, please contact

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