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    The role of celebrity in endorsing poverty reduction through international aid

    Samman, Emma and Auliffe, Eilish Mc and MacLachlan, Malcolm (2009) The role of celebrity in endorsing poverty reduction through international aid. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, 14 (2). pp. 137-148. ISSN 14654520

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    ‘Celebrity endorsement’ is a strategy that is gathering increasing momentum in attempts to develop public awareness of the plight of the poor1 . Understanding of public perceptions is clearly important for international organizations seeking to make use of celebrity in furthering their causes. This paper reports the results of a preliminary survey conducted among 100 members of the Irish public to evaluate levels of awareness of celebrity involvement in international development work and the public’s opinions about such involvement. The survey instrument was semi-structured with some open-ended questions. The focus was on respondents’ ability to identify celebrities associated with such work, and to elicit their opinions on those celebrities’ perceived aims, knowledge of international development, and influence upon the respondent. It also requested opinions of the value of celebrity involvement more generally. The results suggest that respondents are generally able to distinguish between celebrities and their various causes. Most found their involvement to be valuable in raising the profile of charities, though only a small number claimed to be personally influenced by such activity. The respondents were fairly cynical as to the motives of most celebrities, whose involvement they felt served their own aims—namely publicity—first and foremost. Most respondents were more likely to be influenced by their perceptions of the character of the celebrity rather than their causes. They respected celebrities they felt were genuinely committed to the causes they espoused, but paradoxically, they felt such commitment was best demonstrated by the celebrity keeping a low profile and not actively seeking publicity. Long-term commitment to a given cause was also highly regarded. The results are discussed with regard to theories of social persuasion and the dilemma’s facing celebrities who get involve in endorsement of charity aid or campaigns. More research is necessary to substantiate and further develop our findings.

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: role; celebrity; endorsing poverty; reduction; international aid;
    Academic Unit: Assisting Living & Learning,ALL institute
    Faculty of Science and Engineering > Psychology
    Item ID: 16526
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Malcolm MacLachlan
    Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2022 13:38
    Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing
    Publisher: Wiley
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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