Belgian teen loses L’Oreal contract over hunting photo

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WASHINGTON, July 15, 2014 — Belgian teenager Axelle Despiegelaere who caught international attention when television cameras zoomed in on her in the crowd of a World Cup soccer game has had, and lost, her 15 minutes of fame.

Photos of Axelle went viral on the Internet and social media, prompting French company L’Oreal to snag her for a modeling contract.

L’Oreal made a hair care commercial with Axelle, which garnered more than two million hits on YouTube.

However, a few days later, L’Oreal ended its relationship with Despiegelaere. A short statement from the company said, “L’Oreal Professionnel Belgium collaborated with her on an ad hoc basis to produce a video for social media use in Belgium. The contract has now been completed.” It confirmed that Despiegelaere would no longer be associated with L’Oreal, but did not provide any additional explanation.




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The move did, however, coincide with a photo and caption Axelle posted on her professional Facebook page. The posting, under a photo of a gazelle she shot, said, ‘Hunting is not a matter of life or death. It’s much more important than that…ready to hunt Americans today haha’

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The posting has since been removed.

L’Oreal has not confirmed or denied that the posting ended Axelle’s affiliation with the company, but L’Oreal has vocally supported animal-free testing.

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Lisa M. Ruth
Lisa M. Ruth is Editor-in-Chief of CDN. In addition to her editing and leadership duties, she also writes on international events, intelligence, and other topics. She has worked with CDN as a journalist since 2009. Lisa is also President of CTC International Group, Inc., a research and analysis firm in South Florida, providing actionable intelligence to decisionmakers. She started her career at the CIA, where she won several distinguished awards for her service. She holds an MA in international relations from the University of Virginia, and a BA in international relations from George Mason University. She also serves as Chairman of the Board of Horses Healing Hearts, and is involved with several other charitable organizations, including Habitat for Humanity, The Boys and Girls Clubs of America, and AYSO.
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