Thursday, 23 August 2012
A couple of days ago the IPKat published a blog post, covering speculations as to what may happen should an Olympic athlete act in breach of much discussed Rule 40 of the IOC.
As readers will remember, US swimming legend Michael Phelps agreed on having a few photos of him taken by photography legend Annie Leibovitz for new Vuitton "Core Values" ad campaign.
The problem was that a couple of these shots (in particular the one featuring Phelps sitting on a sofa next to former Soviet Soviet gymnast Larisa Latynina) were leaked via Twitter before the official launch of the campaign on 16 August. This might be in breach of aforementioned Rule 40, which prohibited Olympic athletes from endorsing any product in the period comprised between 18 July and 15 August.
Both Vuitton and Phelps's agent dismissed any allegations that the photos were leaked voluntarily as unfounded.
Now an official statement from the French luxury company has been delivered to the IPKat mailbox
, along with a new Vuitton handbag from the fall/winter collection.
The statement reads as follows:
"Louis Vuitton has launched the Core Values campaign featuring Michael Phelps and Larisa Latynina from August 16th 2012 as permitted by the IOC. Therefore, Louis Vuitton doesn't have any link with the previous disclosures."
In addition, the photo of Phelps in the bathtub (which was nonetheless taken by Leibovitz) is said not to be part of the “Core Values campaign”. "The visual … is not a Louis Vuitton visual, and we are therefore not able to comment on this", clarifies Vuitton.