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The influence of celebrity and the potential effects on public health is very interesting point and one that has not gone unnoticed. In recent times we’ve seen Russell Brand as an expert witness at a House of Commons select committee on drug addiction, and the father of the late Amy Winehouse regaling details of the cocaine trade to MPs. It seems that not only are we relying on celebrities to promote health campaigns, but that future campaigns (and even possibly legislation!) are being based upon their testimony.
Celebrity involvement in public health campaigns, as Professor Chapman alluded to, can have both positive and negative connotations. They’re are instantly recognisable and with a few clicks could be ‘tweeting’ health promotions to millions, but when the lines between promoting and advising are blurred, will the message still be as reliable?