“Their only celebrities”

14 Dec

“Celebrities, even insignificant ones like me, are created to be abused by the Great Unwashed.” (Poppy Z. Brite)

Hopefully you will have recognised some themes running through these blogs… celebrities, ethics and values.

My previous blog addresses the issue of CSR and received a lot of interest (thanks!!!) surrounding Cause Related Marketing:

“A commercial activity by which a company with an image, product or service to market, builds a relationship with a ’cause’ or a number of ’causes’ for mutual benefit” (BITC, 2005)

For those of you who have not yet had time to read my previous blog 😉 it addresses my issues with CSR, and how I feel that it is continually being adopted by firms in order to publicize themselves in a positive light. So I hear you say what’s the difference between CSR, CRM and philanthropy then? For me there isn’t much of a difference, the only obvious being CSR reflects society’s expectations which equally lead to mutual benefits.

Celebrity Endorsements 

Take a look at just some of the celebrities who are endorsing the Viva Glam Aids Fund

Should celebrity endorsement of ‘good causes’ be classed as CSR or CRM? Is the celebrity involved because they are popular faces of whom we aspire to be? Or are they doing it because we expect them to pay an interest in charitable causes? Is it because they actually care? I maybe wrong but I can’t say that I have ever seen Missy Elliot or Fergie talking about aids in the past, therefore does this make them a suitable endorsement or are they simply getting involved for the publicity and are MAC using them as they are recognised by mass audiences? I must admit the shoe fits this lady much better…

 As I have previously argued I believe that both CSR and CRM are about ‘results’ meaning a win win situation for both parties involved. Are celebrities using their ‘image’ to simply help the cause or are they doing it for money and in turn good publicity?

Children in need

Every year celebrities such as Fearne Cotton, Alesha Dickson, and Tess Daily accompany Sir Terry Wogan in presenting children in need. As reported by Steve Myall from the Daily Mail,  Sir Terry has been the leading face of the appeal for 26 years, however documents which were released under the freedom of information act  disclose that while his co-presenters give their time for free, Terry receives £1,300 an hour.

I don’t know about you but I have a feeling it maybe a result of him not doing anything else nowadays but surely he’s earned enough money throughout his career that he doesn’t need to steal from charity? Who am I to judge him, he might really care but to me he’s a prime example of the ‘bad bunch’ who abuse their celebrity image.

“The leader of the pack”

“Some say he’s the god of PR, some say he’d do anything for money, all we know is, he’s Max Clifford”

This guy is never far away from a celebrity crisis. What I still cannot get over is, we melt on his every word! I’ll give it to the kid, he’s great at what he does and a lot of the time he’s successful. But there’s something dodgy about you when you’re called in to help a murderer… We all heard about the murder trial of Anni Hindocha whose husband Shirien Dewani is the lead suspect of her murder. Now to me nothing really screams guiltier when Max Clifford is suddenly brought onto the scene. Why did Dewani need to convince the media and public he’s not guilty? Maybe he should have just concentrated on convincing the people actually involved in the trail, like the judge!!!

Bringing this back to values and ethics; will Max Clifford have still represented Shirien Dewani if he knew he was guilty? It appears to me that Max see’s no boundaries and at the end of the day he most values money. surprisingly this doesn’t bother me because everyone is different, however if someone could really benefit from his help would he be as inclined if they were a charity for example or would it be just for CSR?

The kids in this clip want ‘fame’ so they can use their image to help those less fortunate, yeah right!… they want to be famous for the freebies, the popularity the lifestyle and money. These kids are still young but when will it get to the point where they will be willing do anything for their 15 minutes? Let’s take Jade Goody, she constantly had her media ups and downs but when she died she practically received the same reception as Princess Diana. Her death was followed by millions so she could leave enough money for her children, the problem was her ethics? Should her children have to grow up knowing everyone followed the most personal time of their mum’s life? The argument is, maybe she valued money and stability over self-respect.

Drawing in on a conclusion..

Hopefully my blogs have made you think outside of the box and question people’s motives, ethics and values. At the end of the day PR is about building and maintaining relationships which are mutually beneficial. I therefore hope I have successfully addressed both sides of the argument from the PR professional and organisations point of view to the stakeholder’s point of view. I still believe that people’s values will continually change throughout their life, however I have come to realise that money is a value which everyone holds closest because we need it to live!


4 Responses to ““Their only celebrities””

  1. Alex McNamara December 15, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    Good article Michaela,I think at the end of the day there is mutual benefit to using celebrity endorsement. In charity events personally i don’t see how money would come into it even if the celebrity was dirt poor. I think for most cases celebrity endorsement should be relevant to create credibility such as Jamie Oliver and Sainsburys. We do live in a celebrity culture and your example shows just how much influence they do have which is a scary thought as do you they really have your best interests at heart?

    • michomoom December 16, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

      Hi Alex,

      Thank you for your comment!

      There is definitely mutual benefit, but when does money and publicity become the celebrities main motivation? In this day and age we are churning celebs out like hot cakes, are they even celebs? At the end of the day they are out to make money, why else would they be assocaited with TOWIE for example?

      Obviously brands identify the most appropriate celebrity to represent them, ie Jamie Oliver being a chef therefore representing Sainsbury’s. And I’m not criticising them, what I am criticising is their motives for doing so.

      Thanks again


  2. Angela December 16, 2011 at 11:39 am #

    Hi Michaela,

    I just want to add, I think that it is disgusting that Sir Terry Wogan gets paid from the BBC for presenting Children in need. I didn’t know that and I cannot believe it.

    I don’t understand peoples love for celebrities, to me a celebrity can be anyone, even some randomer because they live in Essex? It doesn’t make sense to me, therefore like you said what are their motives? Every game show they go on for example, family fortunes, who wants to be a millionaire raises money for charity but how much do they really want the money themselves?

    Good read


    • michomoom December 16, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

      Hi Angela,

      Thank you for your comment!

      I have to admit that I was too very shocked about the Terry Wogan thing when I first heard of it. The question is though, how many other ‘celebs’ are doing this?



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: