Baris Talks : “Celebs + Fitness + Money – An Unhealthy Formula”

Back to Blog Articles 22/04/2016

Jodie Marsh, Katie Price, Kerry Katona, Calum Best, Lauren Goodger, Billi Mucklow, Charlotte Crosby, Josie Gibson, Kim Kardashian and now Shane Lynch, Gaz Beadle, Vicky Pattison. I’m convinced I’ve missed off  many more celebrities and TV reality stars – I mean there’s more growth in these people jumping on the money making machine we call the “fitness industry” than there is in the British economy.

So why are they targeting the fitness industry and not the fashion, modelling industries or even opening a bar or a club named after themselves in some chav forsaken town centre?

Well lets look at some statistics. Last year the UK fitness industry was worth over £4.3 billion. That’s a rise of over 5% and also a rise in gym memberships of nearly 6% (£8.8 million people). And what about supplements? Well experts are forecasting the UK industry will be worth nearly £500 million (up about £100 million on last years figures).

With such a high current value and the certainty of a very healthy future, celebrity and TV reality stars are literally invading and taking a slice of the profits. Do we blame them? Can we blame them? Some may argue that Pro Bodybuilders have been doing it for years – finish competing then set up a supplement brand to capitalise on the growth of the market. Yes, but there is a difference and a major one at that. Put the years of competing aspect aside, these Pros have worked damn hard, treated the industry as a full time job with a passion that no celebrity or TV reality star can ever state. Even looking outside of bodybuilding, there are literally thousands of coaches, personal trainers in local gyms and leisure centers that have inspired the general public into a fitter, healthier lifestyle.

BODYPOWER

Last week it was announced that Vicky Pattison will be attending the UK’s largest bodybuilding and fitness expo BodyPower next month. The post received a large number of negative comments and to me, understandable. However I wasn’t at all surprised by the announcement and I will come onto why later in this blog.

BodyPower’s response was that, “TV reality stars appeal to the younger generations. They reach millions through social media. Vicky has over 3m followers on Instagram alone, the national press love her. This is a girl that actually wants to help inspire others to get fitter and healthier….the population is getting more unhealthy…we need people like Vicky. They need to be embraced by the fitness industry. We need to help them to give the right messages to their followers.”

OK so this quote needs some breaking down as there are some major claims in it that need explaining which I will attempt to do below:

1: “TV reality stars appeal to the younger generations” – absolutely true as most of these reality stars are in their twenties and of a similar age to the audience that follows them – the same trends can apply to the way people follow musicians or actors/actresses. But the appeal is not because of fitness. In Vicky Pattisons case, her appeal is thanks to appearances in Geordie Shore from 2011 until 2014, Ex on the Beach in 2014 and 2015 and her own show Judge Geordie in 2015.

2: “Vicky has over 3m followers on Instagram alone” – well actually it’s only 3m but I won’t harp on about that. But lets look at the profile description on her Instagram account – “Reality TV Star, Part time party girl, full time twat! Oh yeah, and I’ve got a VIP edge……” So no mention of fitness, inspiration, motivation or making a positive difference to today’s youth? OK, but what about her posts – if she’s who BodyPower claim she is, there must be a lot of fitness inspiring posts to motivate all 3m followers?! The 20 most recent posts, ONLY 8 were fitness related (if you want to include Miami Pro as one).

3: “The national press lover her” – so lets look at he most recent headlines.

“Vicky Pattison poses for flawless selfie after stripping completely naked in racy new photoshoot” Daily Mirror, 21st April 2016

“Vicky Pattison strips 100% naked – the moment fans have been waiting for” Daily Star 21st April

“Vicky Pattison spotted with rugby league star Omari Caro after flirty Instagram exchange” Chronicle Live 21st April

As Reveal magazine confirm, “The former Geordie Shore star has posed for a totally nude photoshoot, which has been going down ridiculously well with male fans online.”  I could go on but I think we get the drift……no wonder the national press and her followers love her!

4: “This is a girl that actually wants to help inspire others to get fitter and healthier” Really? I’ve searched all over the internet to find interviews, quotes and even her Twitter and Instagram account but simply cannot find anything. Unless you count her new nutrition and diet regime, which she is offering to the public in the form of snacks, protein shakes, exercises and recipes as part of her brand Mini V (yes this is a common theme that keeps cropping up whenever Vicky discusses her weight and lifestyle problems to the press – KA-CHING).

5: “The population is getting more unhealthy…we need people like Vicky. They need to be embraced by the fitness industry. We need to help them to give the right messages to their followers” – absolutely, the UK has one of the fastest growing obesity rates in Europe in recent years. But Vicky is no different to ANY OTHER celebrity that’s dabbled into the fitness industry. Jodie Marsh did it a few years back but obesity is still with us and growing. Our nation is lazy, the poorer class simply cannot afford to prioritise to a healthier lifestyle. Fresh fruit and veg, gym memberships and even supplements. Are they going to spend £30 odd on a tub of protein from Vicky rather than on a weeks worth of processed ready meals, cigarettes or alcohol. Obesity can only be tackled by the Government and it’s Health Minister. FACT. And please tell me, what exact messaging has Vicky been spouting in the press and around social media that’s fitness related???? Absolutely fuck all unless it’s to do with promoting her line of supplements or fitness DVDs…….

 

To those reading this blog, I’m hoping that now it’s plainly obvious exactly why I personally feel Vicky Pattison is the absolute WRONG CHOICE for BodyPower. Just as much as Calum Best was last year. At the time, he was promoting Body Plus Nutrition. The hype on social media, the queues, the photo opportunities with a guy who went straight out to Spain the following weekend after BodyPower for an all night party and was caught by the press binge drinking and smoking.

So who ultimately benefited out of Calum Best’s appearance? The attendees who paid hard earned cash and travel expenses, Calum Best himself or even Body Plus Nutrition?? Well if we look to where we are now to date, it’s none of them. Only the event organisers who profited by increased ticket sales because a TV Reality Star was headlining the biggest Fitness Expo in the UK. I will be curious to see what fitness benefits Vicky Pattison’s appearance has post BodyPower. Will there be hoards of people posting transformation pics who attended BodyPower and met Vicky? Will Vicky use BodyPower as a platform to really become a serious figure in the fitness industry? We will see.

I said earlier that I totally understood exactly why Vicky is attending. Now, I’ve worked in Publishing, Media and Events for 10 years and I know how this all works and the successful formula to get sponsorship, exhibitors and ticket sales for your event. It’s a guaranteed banker for your business on the big day :

Step 1: Pick a well known celebrity (Vicky Pattison has millions of followers as claimed )

Step 2: Target her followers to announce that she’s attending (that’s a few million extra added to the existing database)

Step 3: See ticket sales increase including attendance on last year (that’s a guarantee thanks to Vicky)

Step 4: Contact brands to exhibit (because there’s an increase in attendance on last year)

This is the reality of why the organisers of BodyPower were so quick to defend their position regarding Vicky Pattison. Rather than admit it makes great business sense, they want t tell you its all done to inspiring people. BULLSHIT. My Mum and Dad have influenced me to a better lifestyle and have encouraged me to hit the gym – but that doesn’t mean you’ll be seeing the pair of them on some supplement stand at BodyPower! Don’t treat us like idiots because we are not.

Seriously though, Davina McCall would have been a worthy attendee. At least her fitness DVD’s have sold by the bucket loads and always topped the charts…….but yes, we realise Davina is no Vicki Pattison on social media  and sadly is not the “IN THING” with the youth of today.

FINAL COMMENT

I have a lot of respect for the BodyPower team and what they continue to do in driving their brand and the fitness message not just in the UK but around the globe. I wish them every success as they continue to do well. I also wish those attending or working at BodyPower an awesome and enjoyable time.

 

My next blog will discuss one area I’m an expert in – Photoshop and especially those that use it on their progress photos and selfies………

 

Thanks for reading

Baris

 

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