Retailer Karwei stopped after ten years with Sylvana Simons as their voice-over figure in their TV-advertisements and shops. Karwei does not want to work with an active politician, says the spokesman from the AD. Sylvana Simons is member of the political party DENK.
During the spring, Karwei received a lot of criticism regarding the partnership with Simons when the Black Piet-discussion started again. This was not the reason for the company to terminate their contract with Simons. Next to commercials, you also could hear her in the shops.
According to the retailer the cause why they terminated the contract is caused by Simons herself. The construction shop received a lot of criticism from the media because of their partnership with Sylvana Simons. Spokesman Laurens Medema from the AD reacted with: ‘Why are you still paying this b*tch to do the commercials?‘.
When Simons became an official member of DENK in September, Candidate Member of Parliament Miedema went to have a chat with her. ”We think there should be no relationship between politics and any commercial advertisement. Sylvana totally understood this.” Karwei told to some media channels that it was a pleasure to work together with Simons.
Despite the criticism Karwei received this year, the departure of Simons did not change anything from the customer their end. Not many people have noticed that someone else is hired now as their voice-over in advertisements. ”We did not receive any negative reaction till now.”, says Miedema.
The people who are affected in this conflict are: the politicians, the customer and Karwei. For the members of DENK having someone in their party who also is used as a voice-over for the biggest construction shop of the Netherlands, can be in their advantage. If many people hear her in the news regarding her thoughts on black piet bus also her voice in advertisements, it can be in their advantage. People start to recognize her easier and know she is from the party DENK. For the customer is can be different. Everyone has a different opinion on Simons so everyone will judge her different. One person might enjoy her voice because he also supports her, while someone hates her voice. For the company itself, having Sylvana or someone else has no difference. As said earlier, they broke the contract with Simons because they think a politician should have no relationship with commercial advertisement.
I personally think the decision that Karwei made is understandable. Sylvana Simons is currently a lot in the news regarding some of her ideologies. Because she expresses her opinion, people might agree with her and other people not. If you as a customer hear a voice of someone who is promoting a product, while you recognize this voice and you remember it was that woman who was talking about black piet on the news. The odds are higher that you will skip the advertisement because you know who the person is behind the voice and know her ideologies. This can cause reputational damage for Karwei.
All by all, the decision of Karwei is reasonable from both ends. Karwei does not want to work with Simons anymore because they think politics should not have any relation with advertisements. Sylvana totally understood this and accepted the termination of her contract. Karwei now have hired someone else as their voice-over.