'Together we can save the arctic': Celebrity advocacy and the Rio Earth Summit 2012

Alison Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Economic, institutional and organisational pressures mean that journalists have become increasingly reliant upon pre-packaged information, principally from public-relations professionals, industry and news agencies. Celebrities have become an important currency and particularly so with regard to climate change, since they can help propel the issues into the headlines. As environmental NGOs frequently find themselves at the whim of ever-shifting political and media agendas, celebrities can lever news entry, providing them with a powerful hook. This article examines the role of celebrities in the Rio+20 summit through a textual analysis of UK newspaper coverage, together with a review of recent surveys of celebrity influence on pro-environmental attitudes and behaviour. The Rio United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development was organised to take place on the twentieth anniversary of the 1992 summit. Compared with the earlier summit, it received very little media attention. Analysis suggests that celebrity involvement can be a potentially significant means of raising visibility of environmental issues through popular culture, but at the same time runs the risk that the core message becomes muted or challenged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-352
Number of pages14
JournalCelebrity Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • celebrity advocacy
  • climate change
  • Greenpeace
  • media
  • Rio+20 summit

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