Is PETA buying into luxury fashion? Yes, but with a single intent in mind... to get their point across. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals has purchased a share of LVMH, the French luxury group that owns Louis Vuitton, Celine, Fendi and Dior. Clearly, PETA doesn't have a genuine financial interest in the fashion conglomerate. The purchase provides them access to shareholder meetings where they can voice concerns about the mistreatment of animals used in luxury products. It's not the first time the company has a bought share of a luxury fashion brand. Your might remember that PETA bought a share of Hermes in 2015, and a share of Prada a year later. It's a smart approach, but historically speaking, animal farming practices are slow to evolve. On December 22, Forbes published an exclusive preview of PETA's video taken inside a Vietnam crocodile farm. The narrator of the footage urges people not to purchase items made from croc skins. The question is: will the video and LVMH share purchase get PETA's message across?
For the foreseeable future, PETA will have to continue buying shares if it wants to make a point. As a single-share owner, they will probably have little to no influence. Yes, they can attend shareholder meetings, but their motives are in direct conflict with other shareholders who are primarily interested in financial gain. As long as there is a niche market that loves exotics, luxury brands have no reason to stop using them. From a publicity standpoint, this was a rather brilliant move on the part of PETA, but if their intent is to change LVMH from within, one could argue that they will need more than a single share as leverage. *Feature image courtesy of Flickr user Charles Price