Chiara Ferragni fined one million euros

The Italian justice system nabbed the Italian influencer for unfair commercial practice. She had collaborated on a limited series of Christmas buns, sold under her name. But the announced charitable purpose – to support a hospital in Turin – was not respected.


Some Christmas cakes can be very indigestible…Italian influencer Chiara Ferragni has had bitter experience of this.

On December 15, Codacons, the Italian competition authority, fined the company one million euros for transforming a collaboration announced as a charity into a mere commercial operation.

Since the news broke, the Italian social network star has seen her initial 29.7 million followers dwindle… The Italian confectionery company Balocco, with which the 36-year-old influencer had formed a partnership, was fined 420,000 euros.


Pandoro Gate


The scandal, dubbed the “Pandoro gate” by the transalpine press, has as its central hero the Pandoro, an ancestral Christmas brioche from Verona.


A year ago, in November and December 2022, two companies controlled by the influencer, Fenice and TBS Crew, rolled out the commercial initiative “Chiara Ferragni and Balocco together for the Regina Hospital”.


In a video, the famous influencer presented her candy-pink version of the pandoro, produced by Balocco. This limited edition was offered at almost triple the price (9 euros) of the basic version. This luxury was justified by the cause served by the delicacy. Profits would be donated to the Regina Margherita hospital in Turin, to finance its equipment for treating children suffering from osteosarcoma and Ewing’s sarcoma.


But the Christmas magic didn’t work… And a year later, the money collected has not reached the Turin hospital’s coffers, according to the Italian police.


Unfair commercial practice


It’s true that Balocco had donated 50,000 euros to the hospital. But this was before his collaboration with Chiara Ferragni. And the amount paid was well below the total sales (1 million euros) generated by the operation.

As a result, the Italian courts qualified the latter as an “unfair commercial practice” and fined the influencer’s companies, Fenice and TBS Crew, 400,000 and 675,000 euros respectively.

While the latter have announced their intention to appeal, the Italian influencer tried to put out the fire. As soon as the court decision was announced, she pleaded a miscommunication in a video and indicated that she would donate one million euros to the hospital.

She then imposed a truce des confiseurs, in other words sixteen days of silence, on social networks. She made her comeback with a post on January 4, thanking “all the people” who had stayed by her side and comforted her.


A major impact


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Featured Photo: © Chiara Ferragni/Instagram

Picture of Sophie Michentef
Sophie Michentef
Sophie Michentef has worked for more than 30 years in the professional press. For fifteen years, she managed the French and international editorial staff of the Journal du Textile. She now puts her press, textile, fashion, and luxury expertise at the service of newspapers, professional organizations, and companies.

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