PARIS — H&M said Tuesday it would scuttle a forthcoming advertising campaign featuring Kate Moss because it is inconsistent with its “clear dissociation of drugs.”
Moss, allegedly seen snorting cocaine in photos published by Britain’s Daily Mirror last week, was to appear modeling the Stella McCartney for H&M collection arriving in some 400 locations on Nov. 10.
H&M plans to replace the campaign “in some way,” according to a company spokeswoman. She declined to elaborate.
An outdoor campaign and a television commercial starring Moss were all set to support the high-profile designer collaboration — an encore to last year’s blockbuster with Karl Lagerfeld.
H&M initially had said it would go ahead with the Moss spots despite the controversy. But the Swedish fashion giant is believed to have received scores of calls from customers in protest. In a statement released Tuesday, H&M noted that it has “actively supported” the Mentor Foundation, an international drug-prevention organization.
A spokesman for McCartney said, “It’s an H&M decision,” and declined further comment.
H&M’s move is bound to renew debate about drug abuse in the fashion industry, long a taboo subject and believed to be again on the rise.
However, it did not immediately prompt a change of heart at other fashion houses that use the supermodel to promote their clothes and cosmetics.
Spokeswomen for Christian Dior and Chanel, which feature Moss in their respective fashion and Coco Mademoiselle perfume campaigns, had no comment Tuesday.
A spokeswoman for Coty Inc.-owned Rimmel said Moss would continue to act as a model, though not a spokesmodel, for the brand. Moss has about two years left to go on that modeling contract.
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman at Storm Models, Moss’ agency, reiterated that, “Kate never makes public comments to the media about her private or business life.”
— With contributions from Samantha Conti and Brid Costello, London
This story first appeared in the September 21, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.