Athletes, actors and other famous folks — lend their recognizable faces to promote all sorts of products, from breakfast cereal to basketball sneakers to prepaid debit cards (see: Suze Orman). But a celebrity endorsement isn’t a guarantee that whatever they’re pitching is a good deal or a smart investment — a distinction that’s especially important to keep in mind when evaluating pitches for financial products.
Sometimes, the affect is deliberately comedic — credit card company Capital One has recruited funnymen Alec Baldwin and Jimmy Fallon for its ads, and Tiger Woods’ old American Express campaign featured him in commercials waging war against stuffed animals. But what’s no laughing matter is the reality that people can be steered toward products that could cost them big-time if they buy what a celebrity spokesperson endorses without first determining if it’s a good fit for them.
So ask yourself: Would I still buy these things without the famous face attached?