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Research presentation final

  1. 1. An investigation into the legal and ethical constraints on the PR representations of Naomi Campbell By Tiann Rowland-Dixon 13FTo
  2. 2. Why I chose this topic Naomi Campbell has been a fashion and modeling icon for decades but the countless legal and ethical constraints involving the media has overshadowed her professional profile. I became very engrossed in looking deeper at Naomi Campbell- what is her representation within the media? Who is behind her making sure she makes all the right moves and who cleans up all the wrong moves? I am very interested in public relations and the techniques used to ensure someone’s representation is correct throughout the media, and I was intrigued to find out the reasons behind Naomi Campbell’s representation within the press- who is the distributor and is it biased information? Last of all is the PR working? I wanted to find out if the public is getting the desired impression of Naomi Campbell through empirical research . I formed a precise question that would allow me to research the topic properly - What are the legal and ethical constraints on PR representations of Naomi Campbell? I used search engines like Google, Google Scholar and Google Trends to find academic and non-academic sources for her representation within the media. I also discussed this topic using focus groups and vox pops to get the views of the public as well as using content analysis and cross references of multiple sources to ensure I was able to present a final thorough conclusion.
  3. 3. Naomi has a negative representation within the media When researching Naomi Campbell on Google, the most common topic I would come across was the ethical and legal constraints in her representation such as abuse, anger and the 2010 blood diamond trial. In order to gather a full perspective of her representation I looked at a number of online news paper articles from different publishers – As well as online blogs such as and, to gain personal and individual perspectives. When looking at this collection of non-academic sources I found something in common, all of them either had a bad experience with Naomi Campbell or they provided negative representations of her within the interviews and articles. I realised that my research is limited and the articles I chose were not always subjective because it was my choice to include them.
  4. 4. source 1 and 1a Looking at the Daily Mirror 3AM section, I was looking for negative representations of Naomi since this section mostly consists of gossip- but this section has a high readership meaning that the articles posted had an effect on her representation. The article I concentrated on article revealed an image from a photo shoot Naomi Campbell did for another magazine with the quote: “I’m sure some want to tie me up and maybe tape my mouth shut.” - Suggesting that the media want her to do something she is incapable of doing and also suggests that she is never going change. Which gave me qualitative research into Naomi’s personal view of her representation. The image advocates that she wanted to make some form of amusement out of her representation by re-presenting what “some” want her to be like (well behaved and silent). Although some saw this image as sexual, I saw it as a PR stunt to increase Naomi’s light hearted persona and to reassure people that she is comfortable and confident in how she is. Her light hearted persona is then contradicted by an article in The Independent (source 1a) stating that The Mirror had to give £3,500 in compensation for breaching her privacy by using “offensive and distressing” images in their article. The Daily Mirror were also told to pay £1 million due to success fees and an additional £365,000 as a personal settlement between Naomi and her lawyers ( ) The additional success fee shows me that fining a news paper is effective because the more successful the article is the higher the fine- it could drastically lower their profit from the article.
  5. 5. source 2 – invasion of personal life/privacy When looking at The Daily Mail’s gossip section I was, again, expecting the article to be biased and subject to negative representations; I noticed that they do not portray Naomi in a positive light and come across as biased and unreliable. In the article I studied, the newspaper made no positive comments on Naomi’s success in other projects but focused on unofficially diagnosing Naomi with Alopecia. 'with experts saying she is suffering from traction alopecia - hair loss caused by the use of extensions.’ - This is a breach of ethical and legal constraints because it contains private photographs without her consent and makes accusations of her health without proof from a reliable source. Similar behavior is mirrored in source 1a but this particular article was not fined, corrected or removed. A possible reason for this could be that the PR management team are selective with what they deem as inappropriate or career damaging- her private life and legal issues are more damaging than a medical or physical accusation. The Daily Mail is infamous for reporting negative articles on Naomi Campbell and has a reputation for not using reliable sources within the articles. Taking this into consideration I decided this was an unreliable source.
  6. 6. Source 6 & 6a – Is it because of her anger and violence? A large part of Naomi’s negative representation within the media is to do with her well documented violent outbursts. I looked at The BBC for a report on the phone throwing incident that took place in New York, this gave me a more reliable and established source of information. The BBC stated the facts of which where that Naomi had to pay the medical bill and was sentenced to community service as well as anger management classes. Although The BBC does remain un-biased by supplying both Naomi’s and the court’s perspective, it does not change her representation within the media. In this case it was purely Naomi’s violent actions that made her subject to a negative representation. On the other hand, The BBC reporting Naomi’s outfit 'Campbell, who appeared in court in a pencil skirt, 4in heels and a Louis Vuitton jacket told the judge' – implies that she was more focused on herself rather than the court case, making the article subjective because it includes unnecessary details to persuade the reader. Whereas The BBC focuses on the court case, other admin blogs focus on the other details that could breach legal constraints by posting alleged comments from Naomi herself without backup sources. Blogging sites are a lot harder to legally and ethically constrain because they are not expected to follow media guidelines and restrictions. I also had to bare in mind that news papers and news corporations will only report news worthy subjects, which tends to revolve around negative situations. did this by stating that Naomi used aggressive language and threats without using a well known source to back it up. These allegations came from a biased perspective that may hold some subjectivity in trying to make Naomi look bad within the media. Although these articles are in different tastes, they both add to Naomi’s negative representation in different extremes.
  7. 7. Source 5 - Is her popularity because of her negative representation? The public’s interest in Naomi goes up when she does things wrong- this coincides with source 6 that suggests that Naomi’s negative representation is mostly caused by her violent out bursts and her legal struggles. When looking at Google Trends I noticed that Naomi’s public interest in searches went up during the 2010 blood diamond trialleading me to conclude that the more problematic she is, the more interest she gets (point E). People love to see famous people in bad situations as it acts as a distraction from their own lives. People would rather search something negative about Naomi Campbell than something positive, which makes me think that this is why she is comfortable in her current representation- because she gains popularity and attention from it, which then leads to opportunities and financial gain (reality television shows, features and interviews). This also presents an ethical dilemma in her representation because it suggests that she does bad things to get attention.
  8. 8. Source 7 - The Press & PR responsibilities within the media The Press 7. I decided not to just look at the content of the media but the legal and ethical rules behind it. I looked at both sides of the press and public relations. Whilst looking at The PCC I noticed that some rules were not followed in the articles I have studied: •‘Everyone is entitled to respect for his or her private and family life, home, health and correspondence, including digital communications’ – this was violated The Daily Mail’s article (source 2) where they make allegations of Naomi having a disease (although it was not proven within the article), this violates her health privacy as well as including private photographs of her to display the possibility of her having the disease. Not to mention in another article I focused on in my content analysis where The Daily Mail published photographs from Annie Willshaw’s personal Facebook when reporting on Naomi Campbell’s blood diamond trial in 2010. Although this is a breach of privacy, I know that these images can be used with the users consent but unfortunately I did not find out whether she gave The Daily Mail permission to use them. This also corresponds with another PCC guideline: ’It is unacceptable to photograph individuals in private places without their consent.’ Through my research I have realised that the media can sometimes have subjective tendencies to make someone look bad on purpose, especially within the tabloids. By Ignoring PCC guidelines such as invading a celebrities private life by including photographs and health information, it shows that the PCC is not effective because the news papers make a larger profit by selling more when using violations because the story becomes more exclusive. This was proven in my vox pops where majority of the people I asked associated Naomi with having a negative representation within the media.
  9. 9. Vox pops My Question - What impression do you gather of Naomi Campbell from the media? Please be  specific in your answer. Quantitative Results: I asked a specific age group of eight 17-18 year olds to take part in my vox pop. 6 of which were girls and 2 where boys. As you can see, only 12.5% had a positive impression of Naomi Campbell from the media and 87.5% had a negative impression. This means that majority of the media consumers are receiving negative impressions of Naomi Campbell from the media, adding to her negative representation. Qualitative results: the participants said that they got their negative impressions of Naomi Campbell from the negative assault charges and her appearances on television talk shows which revealed ‘provocative’ body language.
  10. 10. Sources 3&4 – negative and PR invaded interviews The Stylist Magazine article I focused on was an interview with Naomi Campbell, and it provided examples throughout of Naomi’s bad representations and noted her actions within the interview to prove it. The caption of the article was ‘we did try’ symbolising that Naomi lived up to her negative representation within the media. The article gave specific examples of her behavior  '[As I glance up from my notes I catch her rolling her eyes.]' '[Her speech has quickened and her words become clipped. she seems annoyed.]’ which could have been a slight over reaction but coinciding with Naomi’s previous representations, it could also be the truth. The interview on the whole did not go well and mainly revolved around short statements and cold responses, I noticed that this was especially similar to the Radio Times interview I also focused on. The Radio Times article was more abrupt than the Stylist interview by it ending with Naomi physically stopping the interview half way through the question, ‘she cuts me short by holding out her hand like a policewoman stopping traffic.’ With both of these interviews falling short, I had to wonder if this was more to do with the PR management? I then noticed that the PR management were very present throughout both of these interviews The two PR men sitting in the corner jump up and start to usher me out.’- Radio Times ’Her PR, who has been sitting nearby, ushers me and The Face’s creative director out onto the fire escape’ - Stylist clearly stating what can and cannot be said: ‘I have been asked by her PR team not to go into her ‘personal life’ , ‘[naomi’s pr informs me this is the last question.’ - Stylist meaning that there is a link between these two articles that suggests that Naomi’s PR Management has been attempting to control her representation through interviews by pointing out question guidelines. But the PR management cannot control if the reporter writes down their surroundings and what they are being told – this represents Naomi in an even more difficult light as it implies that there are a lot of restrictions when interviewing her.
  11. 11. 7a) PR responsibilities in the media 2.2 Have a positive duty at all times to respect the truth and shall not disseminate false or misleading information knowingly or recklessly – %20Professional%20Charter%20and%20Codes%20%28October%202013%29.pdf This explains that PR management have to have a positive duty at all times, meaning that they must ensure that they should represent their clients positively and although the truth may not always be positive they must respect the truth. This is shown in sources 3 and 4 (The Stylist and Radio Times interviews) where the PR management were heavily present throughout both interviews ensuring that the questions asked where not invading their clients privacy. Although they can control what can be asked, they cannot control what the reporter writes; in sources 3 and 4 both writers discussed the presence of the PR management negatively, implying that Naomi is difficult to work with.
  12. 12. Content Analysis In order to conduct my content analysis properly I decided to create a new question that relates to the topic. This is so I could easily isolate what I am trying to find out: what stories within the news display legal or ethical constraints when reporting on Naomi  Campbell? Compare stories from different websites. The story I decided to focus on was the blood diamond case of 2010, which is when Naomi Campbell was accused of accepting blood diamonds from Liberian President (at the time) Charles Taylor. I chose this story because it gained a lot of media attention and there are a lot of different articles based on the story for me to compare and cross reference. I looked at articles posted in The Telegraph, The Daily Mail, BBC World News online, ABC News online and The NY Post. I chose a mixture of British and international news because the trial took place in America and I thought it would be interesting to see if they had any extra information that Britain did not have access to. Also, I chose to look at some established and probably reliable sources as well as non established sources because it would give me the opportunity to look at the legal and ethical constraints within both. Established news such as BBC online and ABC online are less likely to have any legal breaches within their articles because they are required to follow set print guidelines by the PCC or their own internal code of conduct (e.g. the BBC code of conduct), which I found out whilst researching the editorial guidelines within my secondary research.
  13. 13. What did I find out from the content analysis? what stories within the news display legal or ethical constraints when reporting on Naomi Campbell?  Compare stories from different websites. The content analysis showed me that there were a lot of legal and ethical considerations within the reports of the blood diamond trial. When looking at The Telegraph - , I noticed that the article mentioned Naomi’s past criminal offenses that had no relevance to the trial- this is an ethical issue because although the article was stating facts, it reminds the reader about what she has done in the past, making the article subjective; reinforcing her negative representation. The Daily Mail article contained a lot of legal and ethical issues by violating privacy by taking images from a personal Facebook account (I did not find out whether they had permission to use the images). The article also contained another ethical issue by using photographs of Naomi at eventssubjectively implying that Naomi did not care about the trial as much as she should, again portraying her in a negative light. BBC used filmed footage of inside the courtroom which allowed me to think that it was a reliable source but they also included information about the trial that would represent her in a negative light: such as how late she was, clothing and her attitude throughout. When I started to focus on American news such as ABC the article contained a difference in information: “The Telegraph, The Daily Mail and The BBC News all stated that Naomi did not know who the two men were that gave her the diamonds but here it states that ‘Campbell said that two men she believed to be representative of the warlord…’ which automatically makes me question its reliability” - taken from my content analysis.
  14. 14. Focus group part 1. headline clippings My focus group consisted of 6 people; 5 girls and 1 boy all aged between 17 and 18. I decided to break my focus group session into two halves- the first half included looking at different headline clippings of Naomi Campbell within the media. The second half involved the group watching a YouTube clip of a one on one interview with Naomi Campbell and Trya Banks I chose this clip particularly because it demonstrated a visual of Naomi Campbell’s negative representation within the media and it also showed some of Naomi’s characteristics and possible reasons why she has a negative representation. I also thought it contained a lot of ethical issues because the clip tends to target Naomi instead of it being a even-sided discussion.
  15. 15. Focus group – quantitative results This chart shows that more people had a positive Impression of Naomi Campbell in the media than negative because the participants suggested it made her appear human and easy to relate to. This also contradicts the results shown in my vox pop because more people saw her in a positive light than negative This chart shows that the focus group was split evenly when discussing if they had heard any of any of the headlines I used. I thought that this was interesting because it contradicts with the idea of the media having the power to change peoples perception and also the news only broadcasting “news worthy” (negative) material.
  16. 16. Focus group – quantitative results This chart shows that more people have heard negative stories about Naomi Campbell than positive. This contradicts the result I got on question 1 where it states that more people had a positive perception of Naomi Campbell in the media than negative- on the other hand, this could also mean that the negative stories in the media makes the public feel able to relate to her on some levels.
  17. 17. Focus group pt 2. video clip (qualitative results) when watching the clip, what impression did you get of Naomi Campbell? After watching the clip, the group decided that one of the most dominant impressions they received was that Naomi came across as a bully and that she was happy to have made an negative impact on Trya’s life. Others in the group gained a sense of maturity from Naomi as she was able to sit through the interview quietly without demonstrating her violent and aggressive representation. Did the interview being done by Tyra Banks make it biased? The whole group agreed that the interview was biased because it mainly came from Trya’s perspective- as a result, the interview portrayed her in the same negative light as the news papers. I thought that this corresponded with source 1 from my secondary research because showed the same aspects of the media wanting to portray her in a certain light but she fights against it by remaining calm. Do you think it was a good PR move? This result corresponds with the result I got from source 7 of my secondary research because it demonstrates that although it was a negative interview, it was a good PR move because she gains more public interest when she is portrayed negatively than positively (as shown in source 5) and PR is all about gaining the publics interest . Do you think that Naomi had a fair chance to argue her points? The group thought that Naomi did not have a fair chance to argue her points because it was focused on Tyra’s perspective rather than both. This corresponds with source 2 where they also did not gain her perspective when commenting on her hair loss. Did Naomi’s persona match the representations of her in the newspapers? The group decided that the she did not match the representations because she was not angry or violent throughout the interview. This adds to part 1 of the focus group where question 1 shows that more people had a positive impression of Naomi than negative and also adds to the idea of the media exaggerating stories or only broadcasting negativity. Do you think that this interview was dramatized for ratings? When I asked this one member from the group suggested that no one would have an interest in the interview unless it was dramatic, so in order to gain public interest there had to be some form of drama and emotion. This also adds to the concept of Naomi being represented in a negative light to enhance drama and to gain the audiences interest.
  18. 18. What I did not find out in my secondary research • I did not find any articles referring to how Naomi is represented and why they think that is. I think this would have been useful because it would have allowed me to compare some of my findings to my primary research results. • In source 1 I was not able to find out whether she was referring to the media or people in general that wanted her to be a certain way. I think this would have been useful to understand if the media or the public enjoy her having a negative representation because it would have made my understanding of why negative stories are printed and if they make more of an impact than positive stories.
  19. 19. What I did not find out in my primary research • • I did not have a wide variety of male perspectives within my vox pops and my focus group. I think this would have been good to use because I would have been able to gain a wider perspective on how Naomi’s representation within the male demographic. I did not gather information from a different range of age groups. I stayed within 17-18 because they are a relevant media consumer age group but I think gathering information from people who have known about her for a longer period of time would have benefited my primary research.
  20. 20. Evaluation – secondary research The sources in my secondary research were very useful in helping me find out about Naomi Campbell’s current representation within the media. I used them in my report because they helped me realise the legal and ethical constraints on the representation of Naomi Campbell. The sources also helped me understand the role of public relations and how legal and ethical constraints can make it harder to maintain/create a positive representation of someone at all times. I feel as though I spent enough time on my secondary research sources and within that time I was able to fully analyze their reliability, content and relevance. I also chose to look inside the media’s rules as well as the public relations guidelines to allow me to come to a thorough understanding. I found my sources by focusing on different headlines and topics, if I discovered something interesting in that topic I would research further until I found something relevant to my question. Majority of my sources were randomly found but looking deeper into the randomly found sources, for example looking into the regulations of PR, were methodically found to back up a source or argument. I used a variety of reliable and unreliable sources in my secondary research so I was able to highlight the legal and ethical constraints in each article. I feel as though my assessment of their reliability was probably accurate and whenever I discussed an unreliable source I clearly explained the faults within it.
  21. 21. I think that it was a good idea to complete the secondary research first because it gave the me the opportunity to understand Naomi Campbell’s representation that the media are trying to portray before going back to the target audience and seeing if the representation was correct. This then made it easier for me to reach my conclusions with enough evidence to support my points. Although I feel as though I have a lot of sources to make my research thorough, I would have liked to have use a YouTube video as part of my secondary research to gain a visual perspective on her representation rather than just in print media. I also feel as though I did not use a good variation of search engines. I found it difficult to use websites that provides quantitative data because I found that my research topic was more qualitative than quantitative since it was based on opinions and included a limited amount of data.
  22. 22. Primary research evaluation The primary research techniques I chose to use were quite reliable. I decided to use a mixture between qualitative and quantitative research so I could analyze as well as ask an audience. I feel as though my research techniques were effective because they allowed me to use the knowledge I gained from the secondary research sources as examples to put forward to an audience. I received a lot of information from my primary research that enabled me to come to a final conclusion on Naomi Campbell’s representation from people who consume the media rather than people who create it. I chose participants near my age group (17-18) but with conflicting tastes and preferences to gain a wider perspective than just focusing on one demographic. I believe that this was a good choice because the age group I chose are within the category for the main media consumers meaning that they have a better understanding of the media industry and its effects on people. They provided me with sufficient answers: the participants who had a good understanding about Naomi Campbell’s representation were able to give me elucidated examples and arguments and the participants that were not aware were able to explain why the are not aware and why it did not effect them, which is also useful when drawing conclusions. I used 6 participants for my focus group and 8 for my vox pops. I think carrying out a small vox pop questioning and focus group kept my answers precise and it made it easier for me to evaluate and analyze. On the other hand, asking more people would have given me more sources to back up my argument. Looking back, I would have liked to use more male participants in my primary research to gain a wider perspective on their opinion.
  23. 23. When conducting my primary research I feel as though I was objective – I tried to listen to different opinions, I did not add my personal opinion and I gave everyone a fair opportunity to talk. The only time I got involved was to ask people what they thought to ensure everyone gave me an answer. I wanted to make sure that my focus group went on for 18 minutes to ensure that it was a good discussion and that everyone got involved and shared what they wanted to say. I think I conducted my focus group well by including interactive tasks and videos for them to watch so it was entertaining as well as constructive. The only thing I would change would be the number of males that participated in my focus group- I would have liked to have understood what they thought of Naomi’s representation within the media as a male consumer. Overall, I have found out a lot of information about the representation of Naomi Campbell within the media and what helps construct either a negative representation or a positive representation. I also understand a lot more into what public relations can and cannot control and the efforts PR management perform to ensure that their clients are represented properly; for example, participating in interviews, stating guidelines for what can and cannot be said and being quick to restore order. Looking back at this project, I would spend more time organising more participants for my focus groups and vox pops and less time on my secondary research.
  24. 24. webography List of sources 1 Author N/A, 31st August 2011, Naomi Campbell Issues Her Own Gagging Order, ) Mirror 3am, available from:, accessed on 2nd October 2013 1a) Author N/A, 18th January 2011, The Independent, Daily Mirror legal fees in Naomi Campbell case ‘disproportionate’ available from: , date accessed: 2nd October 2013 2. Sarah Bull, 9th August 2012, When Extensions go wrong: Naomi Campbell displays shocking bald patches after years of wearing weaves, The Daily Mail, available from: , accessed on 9th October 2013 3. Lyndsey Gilmour, date N/A, Naomi Campbell, Stylist Magazine, available from:, accessed on 8 th October 2013 4. Kirsty Lang, 30th September 2013, Naomi Campbell, The Face and the abruptly ending interview, Radio Times, available from:, accessed on 2 nd November 2013 5. Author N/A, 8th October 2013, title N/A, Google Trends, available from: %20&cmpt=q, accessed on 8th October 2013
  25. 25. 6. Author N/A, 16th January 2007, Supermodel Naomi admits assault, BBC News, available from:, accessed on 1st October 2013 6a). Author N/A, Date written N/A, Naomi’s PA speaks out over ‘reign of abuse’ , Female First, available from:, accessed on 8th October 2013 7. Author N/A, Date written N/A, PCC Codes of Practice, The Press Complaints Commission, available from:, accessed on 9 th October 2013 7a. Author N/A, 3rd October 2013, The Public Relations Consultants Association Character and Codes PDF, The Public Relations consultants Association, available from: %20%28October%202013%29.pdf, accessed on 16th October 2013 Content Analysis links: Bruno Waterfield and Andy Bloxham, 5th August 2010, Naomi Campbell admits she was given blood diamonds, The Telegraph, available on:, accessed on 4 th November 2013 Rhianna King, 10th August 2010, He’s going to give me some diamonds: Naomi Campbell ‘flirted with African dictator before he gave her lavish gift’, The Daily Mail, available from:, accessed on: 4th November 2013 Anna Schecter, 6th August 2010, Naomi Campbell’s ‘Blood Diamonds’ found, ABC News, available from: id=11341425, accessed on 4th November 2013