Sunday, 24 Sep 2023

Harry and Meghan determined to ‘dismantle toxic brand’ and start afresh

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are looking to “start afresh” and distance themselves from their “toxic brand” with their new projects, according to a PR expert.

Since departing the Royal Family more than three years ago and moving to California the couple have attempted to make their mark in the world of entertainment, with mixed results.

They signed multi-million dollar deals with some of the biggest content producers in the world, including Netflix and Spotify, creating the documentaries Harry & Meghan and Heart of Invictus for the streaming platform.

However the Sussexes parted ways with Spotify after just one series of Meghan’s podcast Archetypes, despite her interviewing an impressive range of guests from Serena Williams to Paris Hilton.

Recently their professional paths appear to have diverged, with Harry currently in Germany for the 2023 Invictus Games, the sporting tournament for injured and sick service veterans he founded in 2014.

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Although Meghan once said she and her husband were “always moving together”, it is not known exactly what lies in store next for the Duchess.

She has now arrived in Germany to support Harry at the Games, but she has recently been spotted rubbing shoulders with her celebrity pals without him, as she joined Kelly Rowland and Kerry Washington to see Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour in Los Angeles.

Some have speculated that she could return to acting, where she made her name in the Netflix legal drama Suits, or could set up her own lifestyle and wellness brand based on her former blog, The Tig.

PR and crisis management expert Ed Coram James told The Mirror it makes sense for Harry and Meghan to diverge their careers if they want to successfully rebrand away from any royal-related drama.

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He said: “Once a brand has become as toxic as Harry and Meghan’s, it is a long and difficult path to recovery. By separating out their joint brand, and trying to forge ahead with two distinct and different brand identities, the Sussexes’ are hoping to short-circuit this process.

“The idea is that, by resetting the brand, they release some of the toxicity. Although it is unlikely to represent the full antidote to their current reputational aliment, it is definitely a good idea and a step in the right direction.

“It may sound silly and a bit basic, but when a brand is as toxic as the Sussexes, sometimes the only solution is to try to dismantle the brand altogether.

“In the UK, Harry was very popular before his association with Meghan. That is not to say that Meghan is the actual cause of his popularity demise.”

Mr Coram James believes that by returning to what he was known for in his bachelor days, his work with the Armed Forces and Invictus, and distancing himself from Meghan professionally, Harry is returning to what made him so popular.

The expert claimed that Meghan could do the same, adding: ” Her toxic image in the US is part of a double act. Before she met Harry, she was a successful television actor, with a good reputation but not household recognition.

“By forging ahead with an individual identity separate from that of Harry, she can go back to being viewed as the hard-working and successful actor that she was before she met the Duke.”

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