A Scarring Image

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

American model and actress, Scarlett Johansson was recently made the international representative of SodaStream International Ltd.

Scarlett Johansson

SodaStream is a product that allows you to make your favourite cold drink in the comforts of your own home. You can choose from 60+ flavours and carbonate you drink as much or as little as you prefer. The product comes with reusable BPA-free bottles that last for years. Although the product gives the rest of the beverage industry incentive to consider the environment, it lacks complete legitimacy.

SodaStream is located in the West Bank. International law holds that commerce with Israeli settlements is prohibited. Accordingly, Oxfam contends that such activity propagates the inequality and poverty of the Palestinian residents receiving provisions from Oxfam.

What does this have to do with Scarlett Johansson? She is also an ambassador for Oxfam. Although the organization appreciates her influential presence in their organization, opinions on whether to keep her as an Oxfam ambassador vary.  She is not the first celebrity to partner with an organization striving to better the lives of those living in poverty.

Do you think celebrity affiliation is a benefit or a drawback to poverty-alleviating organizations?

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5 comments

  1. Great blog, Margaret! I don’t think general celebrity involvement is necessarily a benefit or a drawback. As NFPs start delving more into for-profit style marketing, celebrity involvement is just going to become more common-place. Just because Scarlett Johansson advocates for Oxfam doesn’t mean she would refuse to be the face of an unethical product. As convincing as some marketing may be, if we want to be conscientious consumers, we need to look past the glossy surface to see what is really going on.

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    1. Thanks Carragh! You raise a good point about being conscientious consumers. As we are bombarded by ads and products daily, we need to be aware of what we’re “buying” in to.

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  2. Hey Margaret! I think for me the question becomes, if marketing is all about a feeling and a story but a celeb associated with you could also become associated with other brands, would it be reasonable to try and limit their other associations? (I don’t think so!)
    I guess it’s a risk that you run, added publicity from the notoriety of a celebrity but risk that their autonomous decisions could impact your brand.

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    1. Each situation is different but, along with what you said, it is necessary to weigh the pros and cons. Sometimes we expect too much of our public figures, and maybe other times we are too forgiving. Thanks for you input, Erin!

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