Chiara Ferragni Scandal Emails with Balloco

Italy’s renowned influencer Chiara Ferragni is facing backlash and a hefty fine of €1.075 million for falsely promoting a “designer” pink pandoro, claiming its sales would support a children’s hospital in Turin. With nearly 30 million Instagram followers, Ferragni had touted this special cake as a means to fund the hospital, but investigations revealed the donations had already been made by the producer before the launch.

In response, Ferragni issued an apology to her followers, acknowledging her mistake in linking commercial activity with charitable causes. Despite her promise to donate €1 million to the Regina Margherita hospital and plans to appeal the antitrust authority’s ruling, she was visibly emotional, labeling the fine as “disproportionate and unjust.”

The controversy stirred a national debate, drawing attention from Prime Minister Georgia Meloni, who criticized influencers endorsing pricey items under false charitable pretenses. This incident led to questions about Ferragni’s credibility, prompting discussions about her role as a leading influencer.

Consumer outrage prompted legal action, with a consumer group seeking compensation for those misled into believing their purchases would benefit the hospital. The antitrust authority condemned the false advertising, citing exploitation of consumers’ goodwill toward charitable initiatives, especially those aiding seriously ill children.

Chiara Ferragni Cake Emails

Chiara Ferragni Cake Emails

Internal emails revealed a different narrative, exposing the pandoro’s sales as a means to cover Ferragni’s substantial fee, rather than a sincere charitable effort. Balocco, the cake’s manufacturer, faced a fine of €420,000, while companies managing Ferragni’s trademarks were fined over €1 million each. In a Ferragni-Balocco, internal email it states: “Charity? The sales of the pandoro are used to pay the exorbitant fee.” Adding, “I would like to reply: the sales are used to pay your exorbitant fee.” According to the Antitrust Balloco, “did not want to include in the press release the reference to the donation as linked to the sales of the product”.

The internal emails between the Balocco and Ferragni teams, dating back to September 2021, explicitly discussed the timing of the donation, affirming that it would have occurred in May, before the contract was signed. Despite this, all public messages associated with the charitable initiative linked the pandoro sales to fundraising efforts.

An email from a company employee emphasized the importance of highlighting support for the charitable project without referencing sales, clarifying that the donation was unrelated to the product’s performance in the market. The intent was to dissociate the donation from the product’s commercial success.

Andamento Follower Chiara Ferragni

Andamento Follower Chiara Ferragni

Since this news broke Chiara Ferragni lost almost 12,000 followers on Monday December, 18th. It is unclear yet if she will continue to lose followers as this news circulates due to her initial lack of transparency between her and the cake company Balloco.

Chiara Ferragni Apology Video

Ferragni Balloco Apology Video

In an apology video posted to her Instagram account, Chiara Ferragni states that it was a miscommunication error and that she will donate 1 million euros to a Children’s hospital. She states she would pay this donation in lieu of paying the 1.075 million euro fine as she doesn’t think that is fair and would rather see that money go to charity. Chiara plans on fighting this fine so she does not have to pay it.

Published by HOLR Magazine.