Bill Cosby Plunges from #3 to #2,615 in Celebrity Trust Index


Bill Cosby has spent many years as one of America’s comedy and TV darlings. Dr. Cosby, moonlighting as a Jell-o pudding pitchman, seemingly could do no wrong. A lot has changed in the last few weeks as the world has finally started to listen to the women who were allegedly sexually assaulted and raped by him as well as a more recent wave of women who came forward to tell their stories.

At this point, it is hard to believe that the onslaught of bad news is over for Cosby. It seems inevitable that even more names will be added to the list. With each one, Cosby falls into a deeper PR hole.

The latest data from Omnicom’s The Marketing Arm shows that things are indeed bleak for Cosby, who remains remarkably quiet for a man who is claiming to be innocent. He likely doesn’t want a repeat of when he asked folks on social media to make a meme of him. That may have been the beginning of the end for him.

In its weekly report on consumer perception of celebs, The Marketing Arm has ranked Cosby at 2,615—down near disgraced former Notre Dame football player Manti Te’O, the Wall Street Journal reports.[more]

Cosby plummeted from third place, and a top 10 he shared with the likes of Tom Hanks, Brian Williams and Kate Middleton. The entertainment tracking firm says it has “rarely” seen a drop in status similar to Cosby’s.

With Cosby knocked from #3, The Marketing Arm’s latest celebrity trust ranking now lists the following top 10 celebs:

  1. Tom Hanks
  2. Kate Middleton
  3. Brian Williams
  4. Morgan Freeman
  5. Betty White
  6. Bill Gates
  7. Dr. Oz
  8. Robin Roberts
  9. Warren Buffett
  10. Denzel Washington

According to The Marketing Arm spokesperson Billy Embody, “The list changes weekly with celebrities that are well-known and some not as well-known moving up or down a spot or two based on their new data. It almost changes weekly, but we rarely see a drop like Cosby’s.”

As for how the ranking is compiled, Embody added: “The Celebrity DBI is an independent index that quantifies and qualifies consumer perceptions of celebrities. It’s the only global celebrity evaluation service designed to provide superior brand-relevant insights.”

“The Celebrity DBI was created and launched in 2006 in the U.S. by The Marketing Arm’s Talent Practice, the largest celebrity talent buyer in the U.S. The DBI is a comprehensive online database that has the ability to search over 5,000+ celebrities to see how they rank in various attributes.”

America managed to forget about all the allegations that had been floating around about Cosby for years, which kept him near the top of the list, partially due, as the New Yorker pointed out, to Cosby’s ability to play to “both the white desire for an icon of post-racialism and the black desire for the type of dignified success that Cosby represented.”

However, the rising chorus of women in recent days with eerily similar tales finally popped Cosby’s PR balloon, leaving the public to try and not visualize the Cos they thought they knew and loved in the sordid scenarios his alleged victims detailed to the media.

Adding to that chorus, Networked Insights, which analyzes social media sentiment, also found that nearly 700,000 comments were made about Cosby in the first 20 days of November and about a third of those were negative, the Journal notes.

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