Brands should be wary of trending conversations – Boohoo joining the Nella Rose pile-on proves it

Posted by Abby Oldroyd in Comment

7 months ago

Reality show I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! started a week ago and has already stirred up enough drama to dominate the entertainment news agenda. Despite major criticism of ITV’s decision to send Nigel Farage to the jungle, the Brexiteer hasn’t been the one attracting the most hate from viewers. It’s been YouTuber Nella Rose.

The creator confronted First Dates star Fred Sirieix and claimed she felt “disrespected” during a conversation where he said he was old enough to be her father. She explained she is still grieving her father’s death of four years ago. Although Sirieix apologised, Rose said they would have to co-exist in camp without being friends, talking or sharing food.

The disagreement ignited fierce debate online and the YouTuber immediately started trending on X (formerly Twitter) as a viewer backlash snowballed. Many felt she had overreacted and called for her to be voted out first. In fact, countless online commentators have jumped to Sirieix’s defence, with some comparing Rose to Celebrity Big Brother’s Roxanne Pallett – who falsely accused Ryan Thomas of punching her in the ribs.

Despite having large audiences across TikTok (1M), Instagram (957K) and YouTube (794K), Rose has received minimal support and risks leaving the jungle with a less devoted fanbase. Known for her comedy persona, the influencer’s outburst is a key change that has taken her fans by surprise. In comparison, co-star Sam Thompson, also known for his over-the-top and excitable personality, has remained consistent, with viewers praising his enthusiastic nature.

However, the tide is turning. When online criticism of Rose reached fever pitch and brands started participating in the pile-on, her core fanbase and fellow creators decided enough was enough. The catalyst was fast fashion brand Boohoo adding fuel to the fire with a Tweet reading: “#Nella *thumbs down emoji*.” It has since been taken down, but fans are accusing the brand of toxic behaviour.


Mood because I’m in the jungle 😏🐍

♬ original sound – Nella Rose

One comment said: “Something about boohoo and them targeting young Black women in the media. First Catherine and now Nella Rose.” The social media user is referring to a Tweet condemning Love Island contestant Catherine Agbaje about her anger towards contestant Scott van-der-Sluis. This is a theme other influencers have picked up on, such as Kelechi Okafor and London Hughes.

Let this be a lesson for brands on how not to engage with a trending conversation. With more than 600,000 X followers, Boohoo’s unnecessary post normalises trolling and the lack of empathy is alarming. Live Tweeting can be hugely effective when done right but if this is the route brands want to go down, they need to ensure there are key guidelines in place for employees to reference.

Because while the public’s impression of Rose will continue to evolve, it’s harder to shake negative consumer perception of a business. Is it worth the risk for the sake of joining in with a trending conversation? Probably not.

By Abby Oldroyd, CORQ news and features writer