Faux Paparazzi

Time Magazine has a disturbing story about people paying faux paparazzi up to $1500 to follow them around town with cameras.

The trend is driven by the twin obsessions with chronicling one’s life and experiencing fame. “We live in a culture where if it’s not documented, it doesn’t exist,” says Josh Gamson, a University of San Francisco professor of sociology who studies culture and mass media. “And if you don’t have people asking who you are, you’re nobody.”
University of Pennsylvania sociologist David Grazian, who wrote On the Make: The Hustle of Urban Nightlife, calls personal paparazzi reality marketers, who make the act of being photographed more meaningful than the actual photos. “The goal isn’t to produce a product,” he says. “It’s to heighten the experience of the event. In that sense, there doesn’t even need to be any film in the camera.”

It’s okay to be grossed out.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. if the event is inevitable, you might as well enjoy it.
    not always, but lying about the enjoyment is better than getting drunk about it.

  2. “it’s okay to be grossed out” – done and done
    great find on this article and, though it is a terrible indictment of our culture, it is a great opportunity for marketers to tap into the narcissism of modern America