For Immediate Release
Nancy Kricorian, "Stolen Beauty" campaign coordinator, 646-234-8529
Jean Stevens, CODEPINK media coordinator, 508-769-2138
Oxfam Suspends Ahava Spokeswoman Kristin Davis From All Publicity Work
Just one month after CODEPINK launches "Stolen Beauty" boycott campaign of Ahava cosmetics
NEW YORK CITY - "Sex & The City" star Kristin
Davis, well known for her work as a goodwill ambassador of
international human rights organization Oxfam and for her lucrative
spokesperson job for Israeli cosmetics company Ahava Dead Sea
Laboratories, has been suspended from all publicity work by Oxfam for
the duration of her contract with Ahava. Page Six of the New York Post
reported the suspension today (read it here).
Last month, the women's peace group CODEPINK launched a boycott campaign of the cosmetics company, "Stolen Beauty" (www.stolenbeauty.org),
bringing to light Ahava's illegal business practices. Ahava
manufactures its products at a Jewish settlement in a plant near the
shores of the Dead Sea in Occupied Palestine. The settlement itself is
illegal according to international law, as are all the settlements in
the Occupied West Bank. According to the 4th Geneva Convention, it is
illegal for an occupying power to exploit for profit the natural
resources of an occupied territory. Ahava harvests mud and minerals
from the shores of the Dead Sea in Occupied Palestine, and this
exploitation is illegal. Ahava also labels its products, which are made
in Occupied Palestine, as “products of Israel,” which is another breach
of international law. Ironically, Oxfam has been a global leader in the
fight to expose those illegal practices, while its ambassador actively
In June, CODEPINK
activists hand-delivered a letter to Davis at an Ahava publicity
appearance at Lord & Taylor in New York City. The letter urged her
to drop her ties to Ahava and live up to her Oxfam mission; the fact
that her Oxfam affiliation is being used to burnish Ahava's image is
During the final week of July, Oxfam began circulating a statement
saying it has suspended Davis's publicity work for Oxfam. Clearly, just
a few weeks into the Stolen Beauty campaign, heads are turning!
Oxfam's statement leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Journalists,
activists, and Oxfam members and supporters will probably wonder about
Kristin Davis and Oxfam appear to have come, at some point, to a
private understanding that she will not do publicity for Oxfam during
the remainder of the term of her contract with Ahava. When was this
secret deal between Oxfam and Davis reached? When will her contract
with Ahava end? Were Oxfam staff, board members, and general membership
informed of Oxfam's understanding with Davis, and if so, when?
Davis commenced her services with Ahava in September 2007,
continued to conduct high-profile activities with Oxfam for well over a
year after that—and continues to be identified as an Oxfam ambassador.
What does Oxfam think of the use of its goodwill in the burnishing of
Ahava's image? Are Davis's publicity services for Oxfam indeed simply
"suspended" or has her ambassadorship been terminated? In other words,
is it still correct to identify her as an Oxfam ambassador?
Oxfam says in its statement that Davis was unaware of Ahava's
illegal settlement trade when she signed her contract with Ahava –how
does Oxfam know this? Davis has, to our knowledge, never publicly
commented on the issue. Is Oxfam saying that Davis is now aware of what
Ahava is doing but that she will continue to accept payment from them
and remain silent?
Have Davis or her representatives seen or approved Oxfam's statement about their agreement about suspending her services?
the absence of a clear picture of Davis and Oxfam's deal, peace
activists around the world will continue to highlight the tragic
ironies of Ahava's use of Oxfam's goodwill and image through its
sponsorship deal with Kristin Davis. Oxfam is a global leader for peace
and justice—let’s not allow its deal with Kristin Davis to distract
from and sully its heroic work!
CODEPINK is a women-initiated grassroots peace and social justice movement working to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, stop new wars, and redirect our resources into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming activities. CODEPINK rejects foreign policies based on domination and aggression, and instead calls for policies based on diplomacy, compassion and a commitment to international law. With an emphasis on joy and humor, CODEPINK women and men seek to activate, amplify and inspire a community of peacemakers through creative campaigns and a commitment to non-violence.