Magazine article Marketing

Raymond Snoddy on Media: Don't Get Caught in the Celebrity Glare

Magazine article Marketing

Raymond Snoddy on Media: Don't Get Caught in the Celebrity Glare

Article excerpt

The late Sir James Goldsmith once famously said that when a man marries his mistress a vacancy is created.

So when a supermodel who represents the public face of no fewer than four cosmetic and fashion groups appears in far too close proximity to lines of white powder, numerous commercial vacancies are created.

Arguments about whether Kate Moss was treated badly by a hypocritical press and marketing community have been extensively rehearsed elsewhere. Bad behaviour of a similar nature to that alleged against the supermodel is, after all, not totally unheard of in the worlds of journalism or advertising or, occasionally, even in the wilder reaches of marketing itself. Surely people would have to be both deaf and blind not to have realised that Ms Moss may have been capable of extreme actions?

If the press is to be believed, Kate Moss is in the safe hands of a US rehabilitation centre and some of the commercial vacancies she has left behind may be about to be filled, with understandable speed.

British actress Rachel Weisz is in line to represent Burberry fragrances and Sienna Miller could become the face of the brand's clothing range, according to The Mail on Sunday. A few pages on in the same newspaper, a Swiss model is now threatening to auction a kiss-and-tell story allegedly involving David Beckham, whose commercial interests encompass Vodafone, Gillette and Coty.

Today, models, actresses, footballers and even reality-TV participants can find themselves under the heat of the media spotlight. So, marketing directors, beware before you sign the big cheques.

What is clear is that marketers who want to have their products endorsed by celebrities face tough questions. How much does it matter when the media pounces and, almost overnight, celebrity is turned into notoriety? Is all news good news in the attention-attracting game? Obviously not, because everything depends on the product.

The problem is that the activities and attitudes of the media will always be unpredictable. The real worry for marketing managers is that things are getting worse. The chances of 'scandalous' behaviour being exposed has never been greater due to the number of amateur photographers armed with mobile phones - as Kate Moss will testify. …

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