Meghan Markle and Prince Harry warned of ‘Oprah effect’ – ‘Going into lair of queen bee’

Prince Harry and Meghan's Oprah interview previewed by expert

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Meghan Markle and Prince Harry will appear in a tell-all interview with Oprah next month. The 90-minute TV special will air on Sunday March 7, and is titled: Oprah with Meghan and Harry: A CBS Primetime Special. But marketing expert Jonathan Gabay has said the move is “pretty risky” and warns there may be long-term consequences for the couple.

The author and brand adviser told that while the Sussexes may benefit short-term from the publicity gained from chatting to Oprah, they are likely to lose out in the long run.

Mr Gabay said: “There is a well-documented phenomenon called the Oprah effect, whereby if Oprah literally just mentions a product, sales start leaping.

“As with Weight Watchers, it doesn’t leap forever but in most cases it leads to a spike in sales.”

He said this was the case for Barack Obama in the lead up to the 2008 Presidential election, where Oprah’s endorsement helped him gain millions more votes.

The marketing expert also noted: “In the world of personalities, Oprah has pushed people such as Dr Phil, who is a psychologist.

“From there he got his own show and became a personality in his own right, I don’t know if this is in Harry and Meghan’s thinking.

“If it’s stage-managed well enough and they say the right things with the right background music, maybe this will help with Netflix and their other independent projects.

“But that’s only in the short to mid-term.”

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However, he believes the couple should have stuck with their royal links, rather than pursue commercial contracts.

Mr Gabay said: “In the long term I think losing their royal titles will be more damaging than anything else.

“You can’t buy those titles in a tacky shop in Hollywood.

“To go from the inner crowd with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh to starting to become pally with your neighbour the queen of talk shows is a completely different world.

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“They might have an LA zip code but having genuine royal titles you can pass down to your children is completely different.”

The marketing expert also thought it was odd for Meghan and Harry to voluntarily walk “into the lair of the queen bee”.

He said: “It is odd that a couple that makes such a big fuss about not being hounded by the Press and then go into the lair of the queen bee, the spider at the centre of celebrity web, and say ‘we give ourselves to you’. It’s a bit much.”

Oprah’s conversation with the Sussexes will cover a wide variety of topics.

It will start with the host chatting candidly with Meghan about her marriage, motherhood and how she handled life under public pressure, according to a CBS press release.

Harry will then join the pair, as the couple opens up about their move to the US and their future plans.

CBS has described the interview as an “intimate conversation”.

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