Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Celebrity Endorsement

30 July, 2010 - 14:22 -- John Burton

I see each week lists of 'celeb' endorsements of charities in the press. But I wonder how much these celebs actually do for the charities concerned.

There seems to be a perception that celebs, by their very presence enhance a charity's reputation, but do they? I often think that the celeb benefits far more than the charity, so perhaps it is time that there was more disclosure about how much they actually contribute. Do they contribute cash? Do they give x number of hours of their time? Can a value be put on their contribution?

There are of course differences in the use of celebs; my view is that it is a very different issue if someone famous is used for their expertise.  A good example from my perspective was that model Lily Cole recently donated her time to the World Land Trust to model the Emeralds used in the Gemfields Emerald Jewellery auction that raised funds for our Elephant corridor project. We can put a value on this donation (and will, and we will record it in our Annual Report), because it does actually have a market value. But if  a pop star shows up to a charity event how much is that worth to the charity? And how much is it worth to the pop star?

I was horrified to learn that some charities apparently pay celebs to attend their events. In fact I find this difficult to believe - so if any of the inhabitants of cyberspace know more about this practice, I think quite a few of us in the charity sector would be interested to know more about it. My feeling is that if charities do pay celebs to endorse them, or attend events, then the ordinary man and woman in the street would be horrified their donations were being spent that way.  Any facts and figures?

Comments

Submitted by John Burton on

That is exactly what I was asking for — soem evuidence; all I have is hearsay, and it would not be wise to put that on the internet, without proof, despite it being from a reliable source.

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