Solution for Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective 10th Edition Chapter 6, Problem 1

by George E. Belch, Michael A. Belch
343 Solutions 22 Chapters 53893 Studied ISBN: 9780078028977 Art and Architechture 5 (1)

Chapter 6, Problem Additional_Discussion_Questions 1 : 11.Discuss the ethics of celebrities endorsing products in...

11.Discuss the ethics of celebrities endorsing products in foreign countries but not in the United States to protect their image. Do you think celebrities hurt their reputations by doing endorsements and/or appearing in ads? Why or why not? (L02)


Step-By-Step Solution


As discussed in Global Perspective 6-1, many American celebrities who do not appear in ads in the U.S. make huge sums of money endorsing products and serving as advertising spokespeople in foreign countries such as Japan. These celebrities will not endorse products in the U.S. because they think that it is “selling out” and may be damaging to their image. However, by appearing in ads only in foreign countries they avoid tarnishing their image at home. They take the perspective that they aren’t really selling out if nobody knows what they’re up to. There really isn’t anything unethical about celebrities endorsing products in foreign countries. However one could argue that it is unethical for celebrities to act as though they are above endorsing products when they are indeed doing so abroad. The fact that many celebrities have nondisclosure clauses in their contracts, specifying that the ads they do cannot be shown—or sometimes even discussed—outside of the country for which they are intended suggests that they are taking steps to mislead the public in the U.S. about their commercial endeavors. It has become very difficult for celebrities keep their endorsements in foreign countries a secret and to keep people back home from seeing these commercials.  For example, the ABC News Show Primetime aired a segment in January 2003, called “Celebrity Foreign” that discussed celebrities endorsing products in Japan but not the U.S. Many of these commercials are now being shown on Web sites originating in Japan as well as Canada and the U.S. as well. For example, Japanese commercials featuring popular U.S. celebrities can now be found on YouTube. Thus, the public is becoming much more aware of how celebrities endorse products and appear in commercials in foreign countries.

The question as to whether celebrities hurt their reputations by doing endorsements is an interesting one. Some celebrities do not endorse products or appear in ads because this is viewed as a cash-in, cash-out capitalistic maneuver. Endorsing products is not viewed as a creative endeavor because the celebrity is not acting in these commercials, they are endorsing. Obviously the general public knows that celebrities are paid large sums of money to endorse products and this may undermine their image and credibility. However, celebrities may also be concerned with the impact endorsements have on their image in the entertainment community as well. An actor or actress who appears in commercials may lose some of their credibility and may end up damaging their artistic appeal. This may be particularly critical to those who appear in movies. For example, Cher temporarily damaged her credibility as a serious actress by appearing in too many infomercials. On the other hand one might argue that cashing in on celebrity status is pretty much expected and does not tarnish the image of those who do so. Perhaps the key issue is not whether celebrities endorse products or companies but rather how frequently they do so. Celebrities who endorse too many products may indeed become perceived more as spokespersons than quality actors or actresses.


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