Did Tyra Banks Company Produce The ‘Slap Rihanna’ Ad That Sent Snapchat Stock Tumbling?

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Written by Dana Sanchez

The controversial “Slap Rihanna” ad that appears to capitalize on domestic violence and got Snapchat in trouble was developed by Fierce Capital, according to Ad Age.

Fierce Capital LLC is a Tyra Banks company.

The ad was for a game app called Would You Rather, developed by Fierce Capital, and it asked “would you rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown,” Ad Age reported.

Rihanna called out Snapchat for running the sickening ad and she is credited with sending the stock of the app’s parent, Snap Inc., tumbling nearly 5 percent,  New York Post reported.

The ad referred to Brown’s 2009 conviction for brutally assaulting Rihanna in a car, triggering disgust on social media over the weekend.

Snap Inc. said the ad was “disgusting” and “never should have appeared on our service,” NY Post reported.

“Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain’t my fav app out there!” Rihanna wrote on Instagram Thursday. “I’d love to call this ignorance, but I know you ain’t that dumb!”

Rihanna continued,  “… all the women, children, and men that have been victims of DV in the past and especially the ones who haven’t made it out yet … you let us down! Shame on you. Throw the whole app-oligy away.”

Fierce Capital is the investment arm of The Tyra Banks Company, according to CrunchBase. It’s a sub-organization of Tyra Beauty. Fierce Capital LLC is developing and investing in early-stage startups including female-focused businesses.

The ad maker Fierce Capital was not immediately available for comment, Ad Age reported on Thursday.

Banks has spoken out publicly before about tone deaf ads. She came out in defense of the H&M CEO when the Swedish clothing retailer was criticized in January for running an ad featuring a Black child wearing a hoodie with the words, “Coolest monkey in the jungle”.

“I might get skewered for this,” Banks said in a Build Series video. “Those choices are not necessarily the CEO of H&M. It could be eight buyers on a set and those couple of people ruin a company’s reputation… we need to get to the root of who the hell put that sweatshirt on that beautiful black baby. Who put it on him? Not who made it, who put it on him. That’s the person to really focus on. And then who printed that shot… I would really like us to get deeper into the who, not the what.”

Celebrities and consumers called for a boycott of H&M after the hoodie appeared on its website.  After the hoodie scandal, H&M hired a diversity leader.

Banks supports businesses through brand alignment, according to a 2013 press release.

Through Tyra’s brand capital, Fierce Capital, LLC will help promising startups raise capital and develop profitable business strategies.  These businesses will have the opportunity to leverage Tyra’s social and traditional media sphere of influence and tap into The Tyra Banks Company’s extensive network to build significant business relationships.”

Slap Rihanna
Image: Snapchat

Earlier this week, Snapchat said that the offensive ad was an accident — “reviewed and approved in error as it violates our advertising guidelines.”

On Thursday, Snap shares fell 4.8 percent to $17 by early afternoon — their lowest level this month.

Rihanna was 22 when she was assaulted by Brown. An infamous photo of her shows a black eye, bloody lips, and cuts on her forehead. Brown pleaded guilty in 2009. He paid a fine and did community service.

This wasn’t the first selloff of Snap shares in the past month. In February, Kylie Jenner complained about the texting app’s redesign, causing the company to lose more than $1 billion in market value.

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