In public relations and marketing, the use of third-party spokespeople – and more specifically celebrity spokespeople – has become commonplace. Whether it's Michael Phelps for Subway or Kim Kardashian for Sketchers, brands make significant investments in celebrity endorsements with the hope that their buy-in on a product or service will equal the buy-in of millions or even billions of consumers in the U.S. and around the world.
As you may have seen in recent news coverage, it was revealed that Food Network celebrity chef Paula Deen has been battling Type 2 diabetes since 2008. On the heels of this revelation, she and her two sons were announced as the new spokespeople for pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk's diabetes treatment Victoza.
If you're familiar with Mrs. Deen's cooking shows, you know her food is quintessential southern-style cooking – and there is nothing low fat about it. As a born and raised Georgia girl myself, I can appreciate the deliciousness of a good 'ole fashion southern meal. However, the issue that many people have with this is clear. Deen is now getting paid a substantial amount of money to be the spokesperson for a diabetes medication, yet has been promoting unhealthy eating habits that are proven to contribute to this disease for her nearly 25-year-long career.