Celebrities Cant Have It Both Ways

Corporations are willing to pay substantial amounts of money to prominent personalities so that consumers will relate the brand with their favorite star, and thus will be more likely to buy the product. The buying public imparts credibility to the celebrity because of his or her charisma as well as the credibility that comes with prominence in the media. The power of someone's personality also entails risks for the brand with which they are associated, because any controversial behavior may reflect badly on the product. This has become an especially frequent problem in recent times.

Whoopi Goldberg, for example, lost her Slim Fast contract due to her abrasive remarks regarding the President. The people at Slim Fast did not want their brand associated with a personality embroiled in controversy, who was likely to upset people by insulting a respected figure. In 1989, Pepsi dropped Madonna for her "sacrilegious" "Like a Prayer" video. McDonald's allowed Kobe Bryant's contract with them to lapse after a woman accused him of rape. After allegedly entering a special treatment program for anorexia, Mary-Kate Olsen vanished from the "Got Milk?" campaign. Hip-hop star Ludacris became another Pepsi casualty when executives heard Bill O'Reilly remark upon the obscenity of the rapper's lyrics, and decided he wasn't beneficial for their soda's reputation.

Sometimes celebrities act indignant when they lose an endorsement due to remarks they made or other forms of expression in which they indulged, as if their freedom of speech has been violated. Whoopi Goldberg felt she was being "punished" for speaking freely. The First Amendment says nothing about having an inherent right to multi-million dollar deals, just that the State cannot prosecute you for the content of your expression. On the other hand, if the State were to dictate Slim Fast's ad campaign by forcing them to retain Goldberg, that would be a violation of Slim Fast's rights.

For many years, celebrities like Whoopi have made enviable amounts of money from endorsements, but now that they are getting axed so frequently, they may need to take caution if they want to keep this source of revenue. Celebrities are not so irreplaceable and unique. Companies fed up with prominent scandals can easily resort to lesser-known actors who have not accumulated a reputation, bad or otherwise. Advertisers can even employ animated or animal mascots, who have absolutely no independent life of their own, and thus will not ever bring shame upon the company name. Thus, household names who lose their reputation may also lose their big advertising money to, let's say, Tony the Tiger. This phenomenon brings to mind what Cassius said in Shakespeare's Othello, "O, I have lost my reputation!... and what remains is bestial."

Superstars have to make a choice when it comes to endorsements. They have to realize that companies have reasons for keeping them, and for getting rid of them. If celebrities want to do as they please, they cannot expect companies to put up with everything they do and keep on paying them. Eminem lives by his own rules, and companies never hire him for endorsements; but he doesn't seem to care. Those who care about the exposure and money associated with endorsement deals must cultivate a good reputation, maintaining healthy, controversy-free public personas. Otherwise, we will keep seeing more and more stars disappearing from the ad campaigns in which we have become accustomed to seeing them.

Michael Levine is the founder of the prominent public relations firm Levine Communications Office, based in Los Angeles. He is the author of Guerrilla PR, 7 Life Lessons from Noah's Ark: How to Survive a Flood in Your Own Life.

GuerrillaPR.net is a resource for people that want to get famous in the media, without going broke. http://GuerrillaPR.net

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Forbes

PR Pros Team Up To Help Brands Overcome Marijuana Marketing Challenges
Forbes
More than 60 percent of Americans support marijuana legalization – a figure that has nearly doubled since 2000. Nine states and Washington D.C. allow recreational use, and 30 states have comprehensive medical marijuana programs. You'd think with this ...


American Inno

How This PR Professional Started Over as a Successful Coder
American Inno
When it came to his communications career, Matt Wojtkun had it all. Wojtkun had successfully navigated an illustrious PR career in D.C., eventually landing the role of vice president at Weber Shandwick, a major national public relations firm. That wasn ...


MuMbrella

To the PR industry: It's time to stop blowing your own trumpet
MuMbrella
But I'm afraid it's the red card he's reaching for. You've got us bang to rights. For even those paragons of modesty and self-effacement – my PR sisters and brothers – have, to use the common parlance, been bigging it up large with tales of their ...


PR News - For Smart Communicators (blog)

How PR Can Improve Gender Equity in Media Coverage
PR News - For Smart Communicators (blog)
In a column last week, David Leonhardt of the New York Times called out himself and fellow journalists for the shortage of women's voices in media. Despite his focus on equity, Leonhardt observes he is not quoting enough women. To his credit, he has ...


The CIA's unprecedented PR push to make Gina Haspel its director
Columbia Journalism Review
As of Monday morning, Gina Haspel is director of the CIA, replacing Mike Pompeo, despite her history of participation in the agency's torture program. It's hard to imagine such a smooth path through the nomination process without the unusual and full ...

and more »

World's First Exclusive 360-Degree Spherical Image Processor to Make Its Debut at Computex 2018 Introducing ...
PR Newswire (press release)
TAIPEI, Taiwan, May 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Capitalizing on the global trend of 360-degree imaging and virtual reality (VR), the world's first spherical image processor designed exclusively for 360-degree imaging is poised to hit the market. The ...


Paulick Report

PR Special Fasig-Tipton Midlantic: The Evolution Of A Racing ...
Paulick Report
We are once again pleased to offer an exclusive print publication, available here and on the sales grounds of the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Sale of 2-Year-Olds in ...

and more »

Hollywood Reporter

Rep Sheet Roundup: Mayim Bialik Signs With Icon PR
Hollywood Reporter
Who got signed, promoted, hired or fired? The Hollywood Reporter's Rep Sheet rounds up the week in representation news. To submit announcements for consideration, contact [email protected] Another big pop-culture wedding. Mayim Bialik has ...


Kudelski Group and U-blox to Collaborate on Secure Connectivity
PR Newswire (press release)
The Kudelski Group (SIX: KUD.S), the world leader in digital security, and u-blox (SIX: UBXN), a global leader in positioning and wireless communication technologies for the automotive, industrial and consumer markets, today announced the signing of an ...

and more »

PRWeek

Royal Wedding a PR hit even though palace press team 'lost control'
PRWeek
Duncan Larcombe, a biographer of Prince Harry and former royal correspondent who has now entered the world of PR, was more critical still. Larcombe, a consultant at 72Point, said Kensington Palace "hadn't banked on" Thomas Markle being willing "to do ...
Palace needed PR strategy as much as a wedding plannerThe Times
Is Prince Charles walking Markle down the aisle just a savvy PR stunt?Times LIVE
The PR disaster that is the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan MarkleDeccan Chronicle
CBC.ca
all 27,274 news articles »
Google News

Culture As A Barrier To Communication

Each of us is exposed to people from other cultures... Read More

PR Works! 15 Ways To Make Your Press Release Stand Out From the Crowd

Do editors of newspapers, magazines and online news sites really... Read More

Write Press Releases That Dazzle

When a reporter is wowed, intrigued, surprised or captivated by... Read More

Austin?s Annual Charity Event with KVET

In my travels around the country while building my business... Read More

Media Training - Essentials for ALL Office Professionals

Often the first point of contact the media has with... Read More

Press Releases for Every Occasion

To many marketers, the press release is something of a... Read More

Writing a Press Release: Inverted Pyramid Style

A term you'll hear in newsrooms, in editing meetings, in... Read More

Media Kit: 25 Component Possibilities

Media kits include a combination of information whether created for... Read More

The Most Important PR In America

Just happens to be public relations activity that alters individual... Read More

Youve Done PR the Hard Way Long Enough

As a business, non-profit or association manager, let the tacticians... Read More

Publicity: The Best Things In Life Are... FREEE!

One portion of your marketing plan that you probably don't... Read More

Managers, Got a Grip on Your PR?

What are you trying to do with your business, non-profit... Read More

The Increasing Power Of Publicity - And How It Can Benefit Your Business

The call came into my office and the voice on... Read More

TV Reporter Shares the Secrets to Getting Covered on the News

Do you have a great idea for a story, but... Read More

What I Do

I believe this about public relations.People act on their own... Read More

Managers: Can We Agree on This?

Your public relations effort really should involve more than press... Read More

Anatomy Of A PR Campaign

The message is determined by analyzing the brand being marketed,... Read More

6 Essentials for Doing Your Own PR: Guest Author

Today's issue of Lean Marketing Champions features tips on doing... Read More

The Worst PR Mistakes

For a business, non-profit or association manager, they could be... Read More

Managers and PR: One Thing Is Clear

As a business, non-profit or association manager, you have a... Read More

Publicity for Financial Planners--Eight Tips For Success

Individual financial planners can outscore bigger competitors and gain market... Read More

The Four Seasons of Publicity - Building an All-Year Publicity

If you're like most publicity seekers, you probably think oneproject... Read More

Marketing-Minded Financial Planners, Create Your Very Own Story to Get Free Publicity

One big mistake that many marketing-minded financial planners make when... Read More

E-Mail Media Releases

E-mail is becoming the preferred way to receive media releases.... Read More

Cross Cultural Communication & PR

The Public Relations (PR) industry is responsible for creating and... Read More