Dior Stayed With Johnny Depp When Others Dropped Him, With Big Results For Sales

Ashley Hunte
A box containing a Dior fragrance.
Unsplash | Laura Lucas

With the tumultuous defamation trial between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, not to mention the abuse allegations the latter has made against Depp, his career and public image have taken quite a hit in recent years.

With that, brands and production companies have dropped him from numerous projects, including film franchises like Fantastic Beasts and Pirates of the Caribbean.

Though he has a base of loyal and dedicated fans, public perception of Depp is mixed at best.

Though, much like the fans that have been crowding outside the courts to show their support for him, not every brand has given up on the actor.

Dior, for instance, has stuck with him this entire time.

Johnny Depp driving near a buffalo.

And from the looks of it, in spite of everything, Depp's "Sauvage" fragrance is doing incredibly well. Like, selling millions of dollars worth of fragrance every day kind of well.

A tweet from John Pompliano shows just how lucrative this collaboration still is.

In the tweet, Pompliano confirms that one bottle of Sauvage gets purchased every three seconds on average, totaling over $4.5 million in sales per day. That's right, per day.

An article from earlier this year confirms the surprising stat.

An illustration of a Dior bag with pink roses sticking out of the top.
Giphy | aysash

According to Marie Claire, not only is this the case, but it also made Sauvage the best-selling fragrance in the world as of 2021, among fragrances for both men and women.

The fact that Depp is (still) the face of the fragrance makes that all the more surprising.

Nicki Minaj leaning back in shock and amusement.

Back in 2020, Depp lost a libel case against The Sun after they called him a "wife beater" in an article. This was the catalyst for brands and companies dropping him.

Dior, which has had Depp as the face of Sauvage since 2015, didn't follow suit.

Captain Jack Sparrow with a musket on his shoulder, smiling

Even after the company received several complaints about advertisements using his image, Dior stood their ground and kept Depp on.

It was a pretty bold and controversial decision.

A woman saying, "Some people don't like this idea."
Giphy | Ramsey Solutions

In an interview with The Guardian, PR agent Mike Bokowski said, "I think it would be sensible for Dior to sever links with Depp. Anything can be stopped by pressing a button if they really wanted to."

He was in favor of Dior dropping Depp in their ads.

Two people shaking their heads in disapproval.
Giphy | ABC Network

"A brand like Dior is not just looking at this territory," he said. "The attitude in the U.K. will be very different to the one in eastern Europe, for example."

"Brands hope for short-term memory loss and long-term amnesia."

Will Smith in MIB using a device that flashes a blue light.

"These fashion companies live in their own bubble, it's like The Devil Wears Prada. They live in a world where they are used to facing controversy."

Bokowski wasn't alone, either.

Johnny Depp eating chips

In Forbes, brand advisor and influencer Jeetendr Sehdev argued in favor of Dior ditching Depp on the heels of the Sun case. "Dior has been a champion of women, having initiated their Women@Dior program in 2017," Sehdev wrote. "But how can they do that credibly with an ambassador like Depp, who a high court had just branded a 'monster' and found to have violently abused his former wife, Amber Heard, on 12 of the 14 different occasions when he binged on drink and drugs?"

While Depp himself remains the face of Sauvage, one of his ads for the fragrance was pulled.

Johnny Depp singing in Cry Baby
Giphy | hoppip

As The Hollywood Reporter wrote, 2019 campaign called "We Are The Land" was canceled over cultural insensitivity for its portrayal of Native Americans, with many observers noting the resemblance of "Sauvage" with "savage," a derogatory term applied to Native Americans.

Nevertheless, Dior has stood firm by their star, and some observes have praised it as a savvy move.

Johnny Depp in Ed Wood

"Dior have been smart," author Katie Edwards wrote for The Independent. "At a time when many celebrities scream 'cancel culture!' any time they're criticized or called to account for their comments or behavior, the team at Dior seem to recognize that controversy can drive sales."

And, uh, the numbers speak for themselves.

Lucille Ball shrugging exaggeratedly.
Giphy | Paramount+

Whether it was a calculated decision or a reckless one, you can't deny that Dior keeping Depp as the face of Sauvage has paid off handsomely. It's still mind-blowing to know just how profitable Sauvage is, all things considered.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!