Invictus MD Strategies Corp. announced on Aug. 12 that Gene Simmons will no longer serve as Chief Evangelist Officer for the company. According to a press release, Simmons abdicated himself from the position, and few details were released about his reasoning. The rock vocalist will, however, continue to invest in the company indirectly.
Last March, it was announced that Simmons would provide marketing counsel to the company and serve as spokesperson. Simmons was criticized for his past involvement in anti-drug ads, but his marketing experience is unbeatable, given the sheer amount of KISS merchandise, rivaling Elvis and The Beatles in terms of merchandise sales.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Gene. He has been a valuable asset to the company,” President and Chief Executive Officer of Invictus Trevor Dixon stated. “Gene has pledged his ongoing support of the Company, its leadership and its new direction.”
Despite his departure as Chief Evangelist Officer, Simmons continues to be a shareholder in Invictus. “I have enjoyed my time with Invictus,” Simmons said. “I remain a big fan!”
Simmons’ long history of creative marketing techniques while a member of KISS is notable, to say the least. Among the weirdest KISS merchandise, a few highlights include KISS condoms, KISS perfume and last but not least, KISS air guitar strings which is essentially an empty plastic bag with a KISS logo.
For some of Simmons’ career, he’s been consistently anti-drug, and he even participated in a cringe-worthy anti-drug public service announcement during the 1980s. “You want to believe in something? How about yourself,” he said in the ad. His son, however, wrote an op-ed for VICE defending the use of cannabis and other drugs. Since Simmons’ roles in anti-drug commercials, the public perception of cannabis has shifted drastically.
Canada-based Invictus’ sales approach is dominated by five categories: medical, adult-use, international, Licensed Producer-to-Licensed Producer and sales-to-provinces. The company remains a powerhouse in Canada’s cannabis market and international markets.