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April 29, 2008

Why all the fuss about Miley?

The photo is off brand. Plain and simple.

The article, if you read it, lays out the Miley brand perfectly: A young superstar with a head on her shoulders and involved, loving parents to help her avoid the famous flame-outs of her tween predecessors. An all-American success story.

But the photo has blazed through all media.  Some shock (though a summer day at any neighborhood pool is more revealing) Some anger. Mostly just disappointment. It's weird that a 15 year-old can command so much jabber. But this isn't a 15-year old. This is a billion dollar brand.  And the keepers of that brand, the Cyrus collective and, yes, Disney, sure should have seen this coming and told Leibovitz to simma' down.

All girls grow up. But parents with 9, 10, 11 and 12-year olds of their own are fighting to ensure it doesn't happen too fast. Miley, 15, was a strong ally. But the photo gave them reason to wonder. There are some theories that suggest this is all by design. But it's clear now that it was not yet time for a brand extension.

So, we're left with a cautionary tale as to why people like us, people who work with brands, need to think long and hard about what we encourage those brands to do. Powerful brands come with powerful promises. Breaking those promises brings consequences. That said, we're pretty sure this brand isn't going to be withering for long.

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Comments

I give her 2 years before she starts getting DUIs, has a nasty coke habbit and starts shaving her head in the nut house.

Couldn't she have waited like a year or two before she starts doing stuff like this (even though the photo isn't too provocative)? She is still at the top of her career...

I do think she'll recover from this though but this storm might take awhile before it calms down.

Summed up nicely, John, coming from a fellow parent. I doubt Miley thought too much about what was going on. Sadly, it now becomes the fodder of those who will parlay it into some larger societal commentary smokescreen (as if we haven't had enough of that already with presidential candidates!). A bad move, certainly. Irreparable? Don't think so. Move on, people, nothing to see here. Lohan she ain't.

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