Celebrity branding expert Jeetendr Sehdev has labelled Madonna as a ‘legacy act’ who ‘doesn’t resonate with Millennials or Generation Z’.
The 80s legend has been tabloid fodder in recent weeks for her erratic behaviour on stage and her custody battle with ex-husband Guy Ritchie over their 15-year-old son Rocco, while Yohane Banda, who allowed the singer to adopt his then seven-month-old son David in 2006, has admitted his concerns about what has caused the bitter rift in her family and the lifestyle his child is being exposed to.
In a wide-ranging interview with Julia Hartley-Brewer, Sehdev tackled a number of those topics.
On Madonna’s custody battle with Ritchie: “Who is right and who is wrong is not clear here. But what is clear is it’s tough to be a celebrity kid and it’s also tough to be a celebrity parent. You’re constantly getting scrutinised and criticised for how you’re raising your kids, and how you’re balancing your work. And what is making the issue even worse is the fact Madonna and Guy Ritchie have two very different ways of parenting. That is taking a toll on Madonna's image at the moment."
On Yohane Banda’s concerns about his son, David: “Her lifestyle, and her no gain, no pain mentality is well known. The fact her kids travel with her on tour and that she wouldn’t be there as a traditional mother would be, those people [the Banda family] were aware of that. Guy Ritchie reportedly got £50million in his divorce settlement and there was a reason he got that sum and that’s because he was married to a brand. Madonna has made no qualms about how she lives her life and what her attitudes are and she’s been very open about the fact she is a disciplinarian with her children.”
On her brand identity: “Madonna’s brand has significantly lost influence. She is a legacy act now. You can see that when it comes to chart success and her popularity in the US, in particular. She’s been around for a while and she generates her revenue from touring at this stage, which is typical of a legacy brand. If you look at that 80s-type steely exterior that we’re now seeing cracks in, that doesn’t really resonate with the Millennials or Generation Z. If you look at the type of celebrities now, they're human, they're down to earth. They've been selected by these audiences through YouTube or through Instagram."