Anti-drug group calls in River Island's bosses to stop working with Rihanna after the 'Umbrella' singer posted pictures of her smoking giant suspicious-looking cigarettes.
Anti-drug campaigners urge fashion chain River Island to stop using Rihanna in its product campaign after the singer posted pictures of her smoking giant rolled-up cigarettes, which appeared to be marijuana on her Instagram and Twitter accounts last week. The campaigners are concerned about children who see Rihanna as a role model.
Lucy Dawe of the Cannabis Skunk Sense group told British media Daily Mirror, "She should be dropped by River Island as she's a role model to young children but clearly an appalling one. It is a huge double standard because if River Island were really concerned about the effects of drug use, they wouldn't be supporting someone who is so blatantly using drugs herself."
Paul Jenkins, CEO of charity Rethink Mental Illness, also criticizes Rihanna for supporting marijuana legalization. "She is reinforcing the myth that cannabis is a 'safe' drug, when in fact it can increase your chances of developing mental illness, especially if you use it when you're young. It's disappointing to see Rihanna normalising cannabis use in this way," Jenkins said.
River Side donated 10,000 pound sterling (around $15,000) to Nicholas Mills Foundation in 2008. The foundation was set to honor a young man who got addicted to cannabis and heroin and later died of suicide. River Island's Lewis Family Charitable Trust also donated 4,000 pound sterling (around $6,000) to mental health charity ReThink that campaigns the danger of drugs in 2011.
Rihanna showcased the company's products during London Fashion Week in February, in which she reportedly got paid as much as 800,000 pound sterling. So far, she has produced two collections. The fashion company declined to comment on the issue.