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Dior splashes out $20 million to keep Johnny Depp the face of Dior Sauvage

Chloe Burney
15 May 2023

Luxury French house Dior has reportedly offered Johnny Depp "upwards of $20 million" to renew his contract for its best-selling fragrance, Dior Sauvage, for the following three years.

The 59-year-old actor may have struck the most lucrative men’s fragrance deal in history, according to Variety. Depp was paid nearly double the amount Robert Pattison ($12 million) earned as the spokesperson for Dior Homme. In comparison, Brad Pitt was only paid $7 million to promote Chanel No. 5.

Since 2015, the Pirates of the Caribbean star was known as the face of Dior Sauvage, with a campaign that leaned into his unkept, rockstar-like image. Bernard Arnault, CEO of Dior’s parent company LVMH, noted the "image of Johnny Depp" was one of the main reasons why the fragrance was "a remarkable success".

The company faced pressure to drop Depp after his ex-wife accused him of sexual and physical abuse. However, Dior continued working with him despite his Hollywood blacklisting. During this time, the actor was dropped from the sixth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, which cost him $22.5 million.

Depp’s image dramatically improved after he prevailed in the highly-publicised defamation lawsuit against his ex Amber Heard. During the trial, according to the Wall Street Journal, sales of the fragrance Sauvage surged. As a result, Dior Sauvage was among the best-selling fragrances online last year.

The deal with Dior was negotiated by Depp’s representatives at Range Media, which could help pave the way for the actor’s return to movies with backing from major studios.

This news follows the report that LVMH, Dior's parent company, saw revenue growth of 17% to £18.4 billion (€21 billion) for the first quarter of FY23. The group's selective retailing business saw revenue increase 30% to £3.4 billion (€3.9 billion).

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