The Celebrities-for-Aid Program

Over at Aid Watch:

I’m going to propose a theory of international trade between Africa and celebrities. Africa exports stereotypical images of misery in return for celebrities’ advocacy for more Africa funds. The theory of trade says that trade only happens when both parties gain. Celebrities gain some combination of altruistic satisfaction, a good PR image, and a boost for their acting or singing career. Africa gains aid funds.

Unfortunately for Bono, foreign aid no longer provides an easy way to distinguish yourself among the crowd of C-listers. For a star out there looking for a cause, maybe its time to pull a Bob Barker and go back to promoting spay/neuter clinics instead?

The current celebrity advocacy market indeed seems to have abundant supply. At least that was the impression I got from a web site announcing an Oscar-like Awards show for Celebrity Humanitarians. The celebrities being honored including some that I’d never heard of, like Brett Ratner. Even after I looked him up on the Internet, I still can’t remember what he is not famous for. So with the upcoming Noble Humanitarian Awards at which Brett is a headliner, the celebrities are barely trading above the price of used books at this point.

So maybe celebrity advocacy has finally saturated the market, and we could now give advocacy back to people who know something about their causes.


p.s. Happy ODST day!

1 thought on “The Celebrities-for-Aid Program

  1. A disquieting statistic:

    [W]hile the United States spent about $16 billion in foreign aid in 2003, the projected American expenditure for advertising for advertising in 2005 was $276 billion.

    B. Barber, Consumed, pg. 11

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