The Editor's Cut

Celebrities, who needs them? With egos fatter than their wallets, tempers to rival two-year-olds and attitudes worse than adolescents, they are a force to be reckoned with.

This doesn't seem to stop agencies falling over themselves to find a famous friend. Even stories of shoots where only the director is allowed to make eye-contact with the star fails to put people off.

Yet how anyone can deal with someone like Liz Hurley, who dubs the likes of you and me "civilians"? Or U2's The Edge, who tried to get out of a motoring fine by screaming at the policeman: "I am The Edge!" At least he didn't use the "Do you know who I am?" line, the only respectable answer to which is: "No, do you?"

The number of famous names appearing in ads recently has increased dramatically. This is not, unusually, a response to declining personal wealth or status, but a result of the September 11 attacks, with celebrities keen to be seen doing their bit.

Admittedly, get the right people and you can make a real impact, as BBDO New York has discovered with its "come to New York" rally cry featuring famous New Yorkers such as Robert De Niro, Woody Allen and Billy Crystal. It's currently the most-talked about ad on air.

But even if the shoot goes well and the results look great, you may not be home and dry. In this issue, we planned to feature Kylie Minogue, writhing around on a bucking bronco in her bra and knickers - an ad for Agent Provocateur. At the 11th hour, we had a call from her management to say that she was facing too much publicity and the ad would have to be pulled. Well, if she insists on sticking her backside in our faces, what on earth can she expect?

Forget human celebrities, stick to knitted monkeys I say.


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