Luxury bath company could be investigated after using actor as its ‘top designer’ in ad
A luxury baths firm that claims Harrods and Tiffany as customers could face an advertising surveillance investigation after using an actor as its ‘top designer’ to face an online campaign
- Lusso Stone faces a publicity investigation because it turns out its creator does not exist
- ‘JP Mancinelli’ is leading the brands’ campaigns but is actually actor Jon Paul Phillips
- The bathroom brand is now facing an Advertising Standards Authority investigation over the campaign
It’s easy to see why luxury bathroom brand Lusso Stone chose product designer JP Mancinelli to highlight its online ad campaign, given her beauty and ease in front of the camera.
“Exceptional quality is paramount,” he purrs to potential customers. “It’s what we’ve built our reputation on, and you don’t get there by taking shortcuts.”
Yet cutting corners is exactly what Lusso is accused of doing after it emerged Mr Mancinelli doesn’t actually exist. In fact, the man in the ad is Jon Paul Phillips, an actor and model who has appeared in a string of unadvertised movies.
Mr. Mancinelli doesn’t really exist. In fact, the man in the ad is Jon Paul Phillips, an actor and model who has appeared in a string of unadvertised movies.
Lusso, a £30m-a-year business with clients including Harrods, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany – as well as some of the world’s most prestigious hotels including Claridge’s and the Connaught – now faces the prospect of an investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority after a customer lodged a complaint.
Mr Phillips, who is listed on the Select Model Agency website, has combined his limited film career with performing in commercials for companies including The White Company, L’Occitane and Audi. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing on his part. Born in Darlington, Mr Phillips – whose grandmother Marika Rivera was a French actress with a role in the Oscar-winning film Fiddler On The Roof – attended Barnard Castle School in County Durham before making his film debut in Ass Backwards in 2013, playing ‘Adonis on the Bus’.
His biggest role to date came in Kept Boy, a 2017 film in which he portrayed Dennis Racine, the toy-boy gay lover of an interior designer, ironically enough.
The episode risks tarnishing the reputation of Lusso and its founder, Wayne Spriggs, who was crowned small business entrepreneur of the year at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards last year.
His biggest role to date came in Kept Boy, a 2017 film in which he portrayed Dennis Racine, the toy-boy gay lover of an interior designer.
In interviews, Mr Spriggs liked to tell the wealth story of how he built Lusso from ‘a £10,000 overdraft, no loans and no help from investors’ into ‘a style brand leading life”.
He was, perhaps rightly, less likely to mention his 2006 fraud conviction.
The 47-year-old from Middlesbrough was sentenced to 27 months in jail for running an online clothing business which tricked the public into buying fake designer items.
Shortly after The Mail on Sunday contacted Lusso, videos featuring JP Mancinelli were removed from his website. Lusso said Wayne Spriggs designed “much” of the company’s products.
A spokesperson for the Advertising Standards Authority said: “We will carefully assess the complaint to determine whether there are any potential issues under our rules and whether further action is warranted.”