Rita Ora’s EE campaign has reportedly been ‘quietly dropped’ after the popstar broke lockdown rules for her 30th birthday.
Rita was the star of EE’s campaign to launch the Apple iPhone 12 Pro, with the augmented-reality ad, launched in November, featuring her performing Let Me Love You among London’s skyscraperas as an ‘AR avatar’.
However, following the star’s rule-breaking birthday party, EE are reportedly dropping the campaign earlier than planned.
According to the Mirror, EE met with Rita’s management and decided that the ad, which was due to run until December, be dropped early.
A source said: ‘EE took the lockdown breach very seriously and didn’t want to be seen to be endorsing her actions by having her as the face of their brand.’
Speaking about the ad when it was launched, Rita said: ‘It was a lot of fun being part of something which really pushed the boundaries of live performance.
‘Registering the movements of my hands, body and face, was cool, but seeing myself as an AR avatar, dancing around live, totally blew my mind. My first-ever 5G-powered AR performance was so incredible, and it looks phenomenal!’
Soon after the AR ad hit television, Rita landed in scandal when it emerged that on November 28, she threw a birthday party with around 30 friends at Casa Cruz restaurant in Notting Hill, when gatherings like this were against lockdown restrictions.
Rita issued an apology, saying: ‘Hello all, I attended a small gathering with some friends to celebrate my 30th birthday.
‘It was a spur of the moment decision made with the misguided view that we were coming out of lockdown and this would be OK… I’m deeply sorry for breaking the rules and in turn understand that this puts people at risk.
‘This was a serious and inexcusable error of judgement. Given the restrictions, I realise how irresponsible these actions were and I take full responsibility.
‘I feel particularly embarrassed knowing first-hand how hard people have worked to combat this terrible illness and being fully aware of the sacrifices that people and businesses have made to help keep us all safe. Even though this won’t make it right, I want to sincerely apologise.’
It then emerged that prior to her birthday, on November 21, Rita had jetted to Egypt to perform at a hotel, and returned the next day, but failed to isolate for the next 14 days under Government quarantine rules.
The For You singer said: ‘I recently flew to Egypt to perform at a corporate event for a private company, where my travel party followed protocol and presented negative Covid tests upon entry, as required by Egyptian authorities.
‘Upon my return to Britain, I should have followed Government advice and isolated myself for the required period. As you know, I didn’t follow Government advice and… I apologise again, unreservedly.
‘While I realise the apologetic words of a pop star might not carry much weight, especially one who has broken the rules like I have, I do realise some might seek to follow my example.
‘My message to them is simple: please don’t. The guilt and shame I’ve carried this week for my mistake aren’t worth it. Instead, continue to listen to the Government advice and the voices of the heroes of the NHS and take the required precautions.
‘I hope to one day make it up to the public who have given me so much support over the years and, in particular, make it up to the heroes of the NHS… In the meantime, I will be donating my fee from Egypt to charity. Be better than I have been and learn from my mistakes so you don’t have to learn the hard way yourselves.’Credit: Original article published here.