Italian influencer investigated over Christmas cake charity scheme

Italian influencer investigated over Christmas cake charity scheme

One in all Italy’s strongest influencers mentioned she was feeling “calm” after being positioned beneath investigation for fraud in a case linked to a Christmas cake charity initiative.

Prosecutors in Milan opened an investigation into Chiara Ferragni, who in additional than a decade as a trend influencer has amassed an estimated €40m fortune and 29.5 million followers, after she was fined €1m by Italy’s anti-trust authority in December.

The company mentioned customers had been duped into believing that by shopping for a Ferragni-endorsed pandoro cake, an alternative choice to panettone produced by the Piedmont-based firm Balocco, they have been donating to a hospital in Turin.

Each Ferragni and the pinnacle of the cake firm, Alessandra Balocco, are being investigated for aggravated fraud. Balocco was additionally fined €420,000 by the anti-trust company for deceptive customers. Balocco had given €50,000 to the Turin hospital earlier than launching the marketing campaign and made no additional donations. Ferragni reportedly raised £1m from the cake gross sales.

The investigation follows weeks of debate in Italy over the ability of influencers and the cash made out of merchandise they promote, particularly when offered as a charitable initiative.

Ferragni, who has misplaced 200,000 followers because the cake scandal emerged, mentioned in a press release: “I’m calm as a result of I’ve all the time acted in good religion and I’m sure that this can emerge from the continued investigation. I’ve full confidence within the work of the judiciary and with my legal professionals.”

In a near-tearful video in December, Ferragni admitted a “communication error” and mentioned she would make a €1m donation to the Turin hospital.

Ferragni, 36, began her profession after launching a trend weblog known as The Blonde Salad in 2009. The weblog was so profitable that she dropped out of a regulation diploma at Milan’s prestigious Bocconi college, as a substitute promoting clothes and accessories beneath her personal model alongside her work as an influencer.

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She is married to the rapper Fedez and the couple have typically clashed with Italy’s far-right leaders. In December, the prime minister, Giorgia Meloni, referred to the cake scandal throughout her far-right Brothers of Italy occasion’s annual pageant, Atreju. She mentioned: “The true fashions to comply with aren’t the influencers who make some huge cash by sporting garments and displaying luggage … and even selling costly truffles that make individuals imagine they’re charitable.”

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