Judge and Jury: Better laid plans will counter the dangers of using celebrities - The lure of using celebrities can prove too great to resist so it is perhaps time for PR agencies to be better prepared for when things go wrong, a la the Adidas/David Beckh

News at Ten said of him: ’He doesn’t deserve to be the most hated man in Britain’ and others, said something less printable! Yes I’m writing about David Beckham. The dilemma, ladies and gentlemen, is celebrities - love ’em or hate ’em, they’re a very potent marketing tool.

News at Ten said of him: ’He doesn’t deserve to be the most hated

man in Britain’ and others, said something less printable! Yes I’m

writing about David Beckham. The dilemma, ladies and gentlemen, is

celebrities - love ’em or hate ’em, they’re a very potent marketing

tool.



Let he who hasn’t used a celebrity cast the first stone, or provide the

solution to this perennial concern. Most marketers will all have

recommended using an extortionately expensive celeb for strategic

marketing reasons at some point in their career. Mea culpa - I too, have

been to the edge of the abyss, and it is very scary, both on behalf of

your client and indeed the future consultancy relationship if something

happens to go wrong.



Celebrities are potent marketing medicine. Walkers crisps made a virtue

of using the saintly Gary Lineker who has worked wonders for the brand,

and its use of a naked Romario from Brazil would have been great, but

for the fact that Romario was ruled out of Brazil’s World Cup side by a

last-minute injury.



Adidas has kept a fairly low profile since the match where Beckham used

his feet to effectively put an end to England’s chances, but there

appears to be a lot happening in respect of their ad agency review.



So far the jury’s out on Beckham himself-while he rode off into the

sunset, football boots in hand, we’ve been reliant on Glenn Hoddle to

say ’these things do happen’.



Perhaps the tide will turn following the church’s call for the nation to

forgive Beckham and the news that his family are being targeted by

hooligans.



Shouldn’t we really consider contingency plans before taking steps to

employ celebrities in the first place? Perhaps Adidas should have had a

’whoops’ campaign on hand for eventualities.



Celebrity use will and should continue but we should all be more

diligent in preparing to cater for as many eventualities as we can.

Possibly even consider a prenuptial agreement of dos and don’ts, ruling

out kicking players in front of the referee! Perhaps there’s room for a

new specialist crisis management agency - ’Celebrity Crisis Management

Inc’ - I’m racing to be a non-executive director now.



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