Celebrities in Health Campaigns: Helpful or Harmful?

Celebrities being used in health campaigns is an extremely controversial topic. Many experts agree that celebrity involvement in health causes can be helpful, while other find it harmful.

Country musician Tim McGraw greets actress Gwyneth Paltrow as they arrive for the Stand Up To Cancer telethon in Los Angeles, California

According to an article on TIME’s website, “Geof Rayner, an honorary research fellow at City University London, ‘celebrities must tread a cautious path of support because of the risk that the celebrity becomes the story, not the campaign.’ Rayner also told Healthland in a phone interview that celebrity endorsements should be regulated to reduce the potential for promoting unhealthy products and harmful causes.”

I can see where Rayner is coming from on this issue. I completely agree that it is easy for celebrities to become the main focus of the campaign and take attention away from the main issue.

On the other side, the article also said, “In contrast, Simon Chapman, a professor of public health at the University of Sydney, argues that a celebrity’s attention can increase publicity and news coverage of important and often neglected issues. Although stars are not experts, Chapman argues they ‘often speak personally and bring compelling authenticity to public discourse.'”

I also agree with this point by Chapman. Celebrities can bring light to important issues and catch attention from the audience more easily because they are well-known by the public.

Overall, I think celebrities can be both helpful and harmful to health campaigns. The outcome of the campaign depends on what the celebrity decides to support and how they choose to present the issue.

How do you feel about the use of celebrities in Health Campaigns?

Photo Credit: Time.com

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