Opinion piece: Celebs using lies to publicize projects is played out

Lying to get out attention was innovative the first 3 times, now, it's just unimaginative.

By  | Dec 06, 2018, 01:43 AM


Gone are the days when you can even be happy for your faves because every announcement these days seems to be made as part of a larger publicity stunt for some lukewarm project or news that no one will even care about once they find out that they have just been lied to. 

Lord knows which American star they are modelling themselves after but it needs to stop. 

Everyone knows that Hollywood is the home and pioneer of all things celebrity, and as such, this is where most local PR people and celebrities get these ideas from but if we're just duplicating the idea 20-times over, it gets a bit old. 

Granted, this strategy plays on the media’s use of social media for content but being the 16th celebrity to jump on the train kind of takes the momentum away from the brilliance of the idea. 

Cassper Nyovest and Boity did it to promote her Legit campaign and one of his songs.

Back in February, shortly after Valentines Day, AKA tweeted "sad to announce that myself & @bonang_m have broken up," a tweet which has since been deleted. 

We immediately dismissed the news as a publicity stunt and the couple later confirmed that the break up (and subsequent make up) was indeed staged to promote the rapper's love song, which later trended for all the wrong reasons. 

bonang gucci bag

The day before he dropped the song, the couple "made up" and the rapper allegedly bought the media darling a R50,000 bag to say sorry. 

Gigi Lamayne took a page out of the rappers PR book and faked an engagement and lobola announcement for a song many of us still have not heard. 

gigi lamayne lobola

Former Skeem Saam actor, Buhle Maseko also used an engagement announcement to draw attention to the news about him joining an image management firm that no one has ever heard of, let alone remembers. 

It has gotten to the point where you (as a fan or journalist) find yourself questioning the veracity of EVERY celebrity announcement and wondering if it is just the prelude to a project of some sort. 

That is actually the first thing we at ZAlebs wondered when rapper Priddy Ugly and presenter and actress Bontle announced their “engagement” with matching captions, matching emoji and a set of professional photographs. 

priddy ugly and bontle engagement
priddy ugly and bontle engagement

We're not saying that a focused partner can’t hire a photographer (which is actually what you all should do) but in light of the aforementioned incidents, one can never be too sure about the honesty of these moments. 

After such a stunt is pulled, the celebrity at the heart of it all often takes to social media to congratulate themselves for playing the masses (as Gigi Lamayne did) but if the focus ends up on your lie and not your project, then the only thing you’re playing is your career. And your image, because after that moment, everybody’s first point of call will be to question the honesty behind your every move.

"It’s exciting watching a plan come together. I knew that a lot of journalists would just take anything we tweeted as gospel and not really do any proper investigating. We knew people would do our job for us," said AKA in an interview with The Plug.  

Which is ironic coming from a person who is as notoriously hard to reach as his publicity team and has a list of publications he absolutely will not speak to. It also says a lot about how he perceives his intelligence in relation to that of the media and the fans he claims to love so much. 

At this point, the make-a-personal-announcement-as-a-PR-stunt move is played out. We, as consumers would prefer it if you poured all that energy and creativity into giving us better projects to support without having to bait us for our attention.

Main image credit: instagram.com/gigi_lamayne