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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : September 14, 2006

Choose Wisely: Celebrity Endorsement Downside

Remember in the movie Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade? In the last scene a grizzled old knight tells Indy to, “Choose wisely”.

by Kristina Knight

With all the trouble surrounding many celebrities, choosing wisely is just the beginning in your endorsement deal.

Here is what you need to know before signing on:

• Stars give consumers good feelings about everything from soup to nuts. The potential for buying is nearly unlimited. Days after being released from a 5-month prison stint, Martha Stewart Omnimedia stock soared, she was back on television with her version of The Apprentice and her syndicated show Martha. If your celebrity turns the wrong corner, they may not be drawn and quartered by the public, and your product could weather the storm, too
• Investigate, investigate, investigate. Before you sign on to a celebrity deal, find out everything you can about them. Past, present and potential future dealings. The last thing you want associated with your organically grown vegetable soup is a celebrity who poisons his body with drugs or alcohol.
• Morals clauses could save your bacon. When the public turns, as they sometimes do, having a morals clause written in to the endorsement contract is your golden parachute. Put space between yourself and the scandalized celeb, and next time conduct a more thorough investigation of his or her character.

Remember, for every celeb scandalized back to the trailer park, there is another who steps up to the plate, apologizes for bad behavior and is forgiven by the public at large.

Tags: deal, endorsement, marketing

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  • Deals were made with Martha Stewart PRIOR to her release from prison by media who felt confident they could "spin" her crimes into "a good thing" for business. Is lying a smart "business decision" like going to prison? One question left unanswered...."Is Martha Stewart still claiming innocence?"





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