In realm of food celebrity blowouts, Nigella Lawson fares far better than Paula Deen - InfoNews

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In realm of food celebrity blowouts, Nigella Lawson fares far better than Paula Deen

FILE - This combination of 2013 file photos shows chefs, Nigella Lawson as she arrives at Isleworth Crown Court in London, left, and Paula Deen crying on NBC News' "Today" show in New York. In 2013, both made unsavory admissions about their pasts after being accused of unsavory acts. Both found themselves at the center of a whirlwind of negative publicity and lawsuits. But while Deen's empire crumbled, Lawson has remained mostly unscathed. And the difference tells us much about the power of personal brand in 2013. (AP Photo/Sang Tan, NBC, Peter Kramer)
December 07, 2013 - 5:52 AM

Just how big a deal is brand in the world of celebrity chefs? Messy public eruptions around two of the food world's most powerful women show that staying true to your messaging matters.

Paula Deen's admission this summer to using racial slurs in the past was so contrary to her homespun brand of amiable Southern charm, she found her empire quickly unraveling. But recent allegations and admissions of drug use by Nigella Lawson are playing out differently, thanks to a persona built around in-your-face sensuality.

Simply put: When misdeeds get exposed, the more out of sync they are with your brand, the worse you fare. Crisis-management expert Eric Dezenhall says Lawson's troubles aren't inconsistent with how she presents herself. But racial epithets from a Southern grandmother are a different story.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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