When Corporate Sponsorship Turns Celebrities into Shills

Abby Martin speaks about the trend of famous people who walk a thin line between corporate sponsorship and celebrity shilldom, calling out Bob Dylan, Scarlett Johansson and Tom Cruise as recent examples.

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Abby Martin

Abby Martin

Creator at The Empire Files
Creator The Empire Files on teleSUR, Founder Media Roots, BOD Project Censored & Former Host Breaking the Set
Abby Martin

13 Comments on "When Corporate Sponsorship Turns Celebrities into Shills"

  1. American Cannibal | Feb 8, 2014 at 5:57 pm |

    Old Newz, Abby… Old Newzzz.

    • emperorreagan | Feb 8, 2014 at 10:12 pm |

      Yeah. The product/program tie-in was a big deal during the Golden Age of radio – nearly a hundred years ago.

      The only big change was that a guy with outsized fame like Cary Grant could get a free apartment and be named to the board of Faberge for being a shill, instead of it just being part of the job.

  2. BuzzCoastin | Feb 8, 2014 at 6:23 pm |

    how does one become a celeb
    without corporate sponsorship

    work for Russia Today?

  3. Ted Heistman | Feb 8, 2014 at 6:57 pm |

    I did think that Car commercial Bob Dylan did was pretty gross…

  4. Hadrian999 | Feb 8, 2014 at 7:03 pm |

    welcome to wild world of employment

  5. Look…as long they aren’t basing their career off of a stance that’s firmly anti-profit…then seeking profit is perfectly reasonable. It’s their call, and I’m fine either way. Of course, in my case, there isn’t much in the way of anything that an advertiser can do that would move my stone heart one way or the other. The best they can hope for is to not offend the shit out of me. That’s my highest rating for any advert. I don’t drink Balvenie or smoke Camels for the image or because some ad said they were awesome. I tried a bunch of different things…across many years…those were the ones that stuck because they suited my tastes after the fact, based on experience…not because someone I slavishly adored announced that I should follow along with them and do what they do.

    Shit, if Lou Reed had been in every advert ever made for every product ever offered, I still couldn’t have given an addition flying f*ck about any of them…and I loved that guy. RIP LOU!

    On the other hand…if you’ve built a career on rebelling against corporate greed and egregious wealth seeking and material desires…it does look pretty bad if you suddenly get cozy with a major sponsor in exchange for a few million more dollars on top of whatever your talent has earned you.

    • Conspiracy Carrot | Feb 10, 2014 at 8:13 am |

      if you’ve built a career on rebelling against corporate greed and
      egregious wealth seeking and material desires…it does look pretty bad
      if you suddenly get cozy with a major sponsor

      In the late ’90s I heard about this hip-hop group called The Black Eyed Peas. Their first album (pre-Fergie) was actually pretty good and in one particular song they called out celebrity rappers who starred in commercials. Fast-forward a few years and their music was in about fifteen different commercials. Kinda blew my mind.

  6. lilbear68 | Feb 9, 2014 at 12:05 pm |

    actually id love to hear tom cruise lecture about xenu. other than that
    if the rest of Hollywood would just do their job and keep their stupid mouths shut It would be a better world. they need to understand that they are just playing roles, they are not the people they play and do not have those abilities in real life.
    Hollywood also needs to understand that heartland America is not as sissified and soulless as Hollywood is

  7. InfvoCuernos | Feb 9, 2014 at 6:13 pm |

    One thing I haven’t heard yet which might explain away a lot of celebrity shilling even though they don’t need the money: most people become famous because they are atomic attention whores and love when people looky looky at them. If taking a giant sparkler in the ass on international TV is what it takes for people to see them, then they will line up. There are plenty of talented people that avoid the limelight except for venues that they truly enjoy, look at artists like Tom Waits. You aren’t going to see any car commercials with Tom in them(I hope not anyway).

  8. yianblewme | Feb 10, 2014 at 7:15 am |

    Yeah shill and celeb seem the same to me (cough cough abby)

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