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Lakshmi Narayan

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Celebrity Activism: Who ultimately benefits, the celebrity or the cause?

I am doing a dissertation on this topic and would like people to give an opinion on what they think of the question. I study PR so anything that relates back to media, how the publics attitude is swayed and what happens if the celebrity and the cause don't align, and does the cause push the celeb profile or the other way around. Case studies that I've looked at are- Bob Geldof-Live Aid, Joanna Lumley-Gurkhas , Sean Penn-Haiti and Angelina Jolie- any campaign she has been affiliated with.


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  • Apr 20 2013: Both benefit of course

    But is the word Ultimately a substitute for Most?

    I believe Bob Geldof held affection with the public by pushing his cause till it nearly made him bankrupt - an obvious example.

    Less obvious might be Jamie Oliver (top TED talk) who pushes causes just a little past the point where accusations of "self serving" could reasonably be thrown at him. Jamie also risks failure, picking tough marginal causes rather than causes easy to get behind.

    A risk to reputation is a good indication that the cause benefits more than the celebrity
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      Apr 21 2013: Thanks for your input. I like your idea of the risk of reputation, but this could be the other way around too. Celebrities can damage the reputation of the cause they are supporting when they make wrong personal choices. For example when Naomi Campbell supported PETA and then a few years later wore fur in public.
      I agree that in the end both the celebrity and the cause benefit, but yes I am trying to figure out if one tops the other slightly.

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