The intangible magic of celebrity marketing

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate/opinionProfessionalpeer-review

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As the Hispanic world well knows, the word in Spanish for advertising is ‘propaganda’, its meaning derived literally from the propagation of the faith, the antithesis of science's Enlightenment ideals. The old word somehow seems perfect for describing the new world of drug promotion and its growing use of the famous face. Like the catholic cardinals of the 17th century, many of the feted celebrities of the 21st are now engaged in spreading the word. Now, as then, the religion promises miraculous breakthroughs, wonder cures, and sometimes even eternal life. The difference is that this time around, the stars are earning fat fees from the marketing departments of giant pharmaceutical companies. And if the latest revelations from industry insiders are anything to go by, their hefty investments in celebrity selling are well worth it.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)102-104
Number of pages3
JournalPLoS Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004


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