Early last year Brooklyn-based PR firm MCSquared engaged
Sharon Stone to appear in Ecuador to assist the country in
publicising damage done to the Amazon basin by Texaco (now
Chevron), the US energy business. The agency had the brief from the
Ecuador government to bring awareness to the environmental damage
caused by Texaco, with the intention of swaying US public opinion
in a legal and political battle with the oil giant.
Stone was allegedly contracted (through her agency, APB) to
spend three days in the country, meeting with the President and
Vice President, and visiting indigenous communities and
contaminated areas. MCSquared claims it was advised two hours
before her expected arrival that Stone was pulling a no-show. The
Basic Instinct star was actually in hospital in Sao
The PR firm has just commenced proceedings in the US against
Stone and her agency, seeking the recovery of her appearance fee
which the firm had paid ($US275,000), plus about $US80,000 incurred
by them in meeting Shaz's 'diva like' requests
including first class air fares and luxury hotel suites for herself
and her three 'companions'.
The court hasn't yet handed down its decision, but in the
meantime what can we learn? Our tips for engaging a celebrity to
spruik your cause:
Get your celebrity to sign a contract.
'Derr' we hear you say, but MCSquared paid Stone the cash
before the contract was signed, and she never got around to signing
it. It is much harder to prove the terms of your agreement without
a signed contract.
Don't pay all the cash upfront. You'll
probably need to pay something as a deposit to secure her
appearance, but you need to keep as much as possible back to ensure
your celebrity's performance.
Agree on who is responsible for
'incidentals'. Stone's diva demands quickly
ran up to $80k worth, which the agency incurred without clear
agreement on who was paying for them.
We do not disclaim anything about this article. We're
quite proud of it really.
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