Is it a problem that celebrities endorse products using twitter and other social media? And if so should it be restricted? Becky Johns Freya Saxby Dave Pound
In the world of social media, celebrities have taken up advertising through these sites to get to their fan following.
Users who have made their own popularity through these sites (In blogging for example) also advertise through these forms of social media
An example of a celebrity who has taken the social media to their advantage is Stephen Fry who is often seen to have close relationship with Apple as well as his defence of them when accused of putting workers in harsh conditions.
By giving reviews of the new devices on his Twitter, his Youtube account, his Guardian column and even his own website (StephenFry.com); he is influencing his fan following to buy these Apple products. http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/oct/12/iphone-4s-stephen-fry-review-steve-jobs
Is endorsing products via social media a bad thing?
This form of media is called Social media for a reason, it is to interact with other users through means they never could do before.
Users don’t necessarily want to see what their ‘friends’ or who they’re following is endorsing on a site that is meant to be for socialising.
FTC (Federal trades commission)
The FTC (Federal trade commission) states clearly ‘The revised guides make it clear that celebrities have a duty to disclose their relationship with advertisers when making endorsements outside the contexts of traditional ads.’
It also states that both ‘advertisers and endorsers may be liable for false or unsubstantiated claims made in the endorsement’.
This means that if endorsers cannot make it seem like they haven’t been bought by companies or ‘sold out’ for more money.
Like when Krusty sold out his new Comedic style to endorse the ‘Canyenero’ in episode 193 of the Simpsons.
‘ ohnotheydidnt’ a live journal set to expose celebrities.
‘ our study, 2010 Celebrity Advertisements: Exposing a Myth of Advertising Effectiveness, 2010, showed that fewer than 12% of ads using celebrities exceeded a 10% lift, and one-fifth of celebrity ads had a negative impact on advertising effectiveness.’
Is it economically sound?
CBSnews found that some endorsements can pay up to $10,000 per tweet.
Celebrity endorsements can be put to good use as well though as many celebrities are strongly associated with charities and thos charities receive a huge influx of followers because of that celebrity endorsement.
In late 2010 many A-list celebrities stopped using Twitter and Facebook pages until $1 million had been raised Alicia Keys’ AIDs charity ‘Keep A Child Alive’ – Blueglass.com
“ STEPHEN FRY has broken his self-imposed Twitter ban to promote a marathon runner's charity auction - boosting visits to her page from 250 to more than 33,000.” – Dailyrecord.co.uk April 23 rd 2010.
Celebrities can also endorse little known bands and authors on these social sites to promote them and see their popularity and sales skyrocket.
These may not be products but it is still a manner of endorsement that celebrities use and they are highly beneficial.
Companies have to be careful who endorses their products too as they can’t let celebrities that have ‘bad press’ be associated with them.
For example Abercrombie and Fitch paid Michael Sorrentino, a reality TV star who featured in ‘Jersey Shore’ not to wear their clothing in the show as ”this association is contrary to the aspirational nature of our brand, and may be distressing to many of our fans”
The company has to get a celebrity to endorse their products who fit together with it and would seem like they would use that product
Celebrities endorsements via social media can be good in some ways that they bring new products to people’s lives and they can support growing businesses that can boost the economy as opposed to large well established businesses.
However Celebrity endorsements are not always economically sound. Followers and friends of the celebrity don’t want to see advertisements from them constantly.
Celebrity endorsements via the social media is a good thing in small doses and should be restricted but also the follower or the friend should be aware that this celebrity does advertise this product and the relationship between the celebrity and company should possibly be made clearer.