Over-exposed celebrities get on our nerves

I’ve been pondering the relationship between public relations and celebrity this week – and so noticed Peter Himmler’s post Exposure & Contempt.  He links to a US study by for confirming that the more we see of celebrities, the less we like them – especially when they are behaving badly.

Unfortunately, despite a week of , , et al generating headlines for stupid behaviour, I don’t think too many of these so called celebrities will realise they’ve outstayed their welcome.

But maybe a few public relations practitioners will appreciate that using celebrities in their campaigns could quite likely get on the nerves of those they are trying to influence.

My own thoughts were more along the lines of the type of PR person who wants to act as a bottom-feeder to such self-indulgent celebrities.  Sure you get to earn the big money, but how can anyone enjoy 24-7 baby-sitting of spoilt brats who want media attention one minute and claim it is intrusive the next?

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Heather Yaxley PhD

Dr. Heather Yaxley is passionate about sustainable careers, reflective practice and professional development. I am a rhizomatic educator, practitioner, consultant, academic and scholar. As a qualified academic, I teach the CIPR professional qualifications with PR Academy and have experience teaching at various Universities. I run the Motor Industry Public Affairs Association (MIPAA) and my own strategic consultancy. I was awarded by PhD researching Career Strategies in Public Relations by Bournemouth University in 2017. I'm a published author, with books, chapters and academic papers to my name.

2 thoughts on “Over-exposed celebrities get on our nerves”

  1. The whole idea that just because someone is famous for singing, acting, playing football or whatever it is that has provided them with their fifteen minutes of fame qualifies them to comment on aspects of society, whether political or whatever else, is clearly absurd. Of course it’s never been any different. ‘Stars’ have always been used by big business to promote their products. Where it’s all gone so sadly wrong is the linkage of stardom to politics. Gordon Brown made the point that his premiership was not going to be about celebrity, yet he was clearly happy to have it put around that he had dinner with Kylie.

    What will save us from all this? The cynical me says nothing. The hopeful me says, perhaps a burn out from people being bombarded with drivel. However, the vicarious society that we have become makes this less than likely. Oh joy!

  2. Richard – if you’ve never seen the programme Century of the Self by Adam Curtis, check it out on Google Video. The first 30 minutes of Episode 1 feature Edward Bernays including how he linked celebrity to politics in the US in the early 20th century.

    However, I think the practice probably goes back to the Ancient Greeks and the Romans – eg one could argue that politicians supported the gladiatorial conflicts for the popularity it transferred to them.

    It says more about the lack of relevance, charisma and leadership in politicians if you ask me. As for public burn out from drivel, it seems unlikely. As long as there is ready money to be made, it will keep on spinning, but the rides will be shorter and more painful for those who want to get on the bandwagon.

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