Taint on celebrities’ gloss

By Yu Kun-ha
  • Published : May 4, 2012 - 19:37
  • Updated : May 4, 2012 - 19:37
The influence of celebrities is an asset they can exploit, but they should be careful that their endorsements do not backfire and damage their image.

The appeal of celebrities is an invaluable resource for brand publicity. When they recommend and praise certain products, audiences unconsciously link their reputation and personalities with the products, as if the quality and effectiveness of the products are naturally guaranteed.

But appearing in advertisements is a double-edged sword for celebrities, as once the products they recommend become embroiled in a scandal they will certainly be tainted.

After the media exposed the use of potentially harmful industrial gelatin in pharmaceutical capsules, the public has been fierce in its criticism of those celebrities who represented the brands involved.

However, the public should not be fooled into thinking that a famous face guarantees the quality of a product. Most celebrities have no real knowledge of the products they promote, they are paid to appear in advertisements; it’s just another part of the job.

But celebrities should be prudent when signing contracts with advertising agencies and enterprises. If the public turns against the products or services they promote, the famous figures will quickly find themselves tarred with the same brush. Even if they plead ignorance about any flaws in the product, as highly visible representatives of the products they will be obvious targets for the public’s wrath.

Few stars have apologized to the public for promoting products found to be dangerous or faulty. But they have a moral responsibility to the public to admit they made a mistake.

They should endeavor to find out all they can about the products they endorse, as their losses will certainly dwarf their gains if they recommend something that is found to be dangerous or faulty.

If celebrities can learn the lessons from the public backlash against those that promoted the harmful capsules, it will be not only good for themselves but also beneficial to better protecting the public. 

(China Daily)
(Asia News Network)