How do you solve a problem like Nigella?
It can have escaped no one’s attention that Nigella Lawson has come in for a bit of a media battering recently. First the revelations about her unhappy marriage, with Nigella held up as the unlikely poster girl for domestic abuse, followed by the high profile court case and admissions of drug taking.
So far, so bad but from a PR perspective what can we expect in terms of fallout? Brand Nigella is predicated on an image of aspirational domestic bliss. How is Nigella to emerge from the media storm with her image in tact?
Celebrities under fire often remove themselves from the public eye for a period then emerge at a later point, older, wiser – a reformed character. Others choose to speak out publicly or throw themselves into their work. Nigella seems to have picked this option, getting back on the media horse to publicise new show, The Taste, via Twitter and well-chosen interviews with friendly titles.
This approach could pay off but a departure from the now tired format of domestic perfection could also pay dividends in the longer term. There is, of course, a lot to sympathise with in Nigella’s situation, not least her troubled relationship with her ex-husband, and acknowledgement of the fact she is “only human” could actually work in her favour.
Nigella is media-savvy and intelligent enough to understand that sometimes approaching a difficult situation head on with a degree of openness can boost public support. People respond well to honesty and my sense is that, with some tweaks to her brand, Nigella is more than capable of weathering this particular media storm.