Your tender sensibilities may twitch when your particular hero uses his or her good name to sell - when Dick Cavett pushes Scotch or Jimmy Breslin a typewriter, or Lillian Hellman a mink coat - but actually, celebrity endorsements are nothing new.
They go back 60 years, to a skincream campaign created by J. Walter Thompson, the ad agency that now claims it "invented" this particular advertising genre.
In one of those first ads, from 1917, Marion Davies, star of "Runaway Romany," is pictured with costar Billy Burke.
"Now that I use Pond's Vanishing Cream, I don't see I ever got along without it," says Davies, to an adoring Burke.
Replies Burke,"No one appreciates Pond's Vanishing Cream more thanI."
A bit cloying for your taste?
Then consider this somewhat more recent endorsement, done in 1952, by none other than Papa Hemingway.
"Bob Benchley first introduced me to Ballantine," says Hemingway, in a print ad that reproduces an alleged letter, "and it's been a good companion ever since. You have to work hard to deserve to drink, but I would rather have a bottle of Ballantine than any other ale after fighting a really big fish. We keep it iced in the bait box with hunks of ice packed around it and you ought to taste it on a hot day when you have worked a big marlin fast because there were big sharks after him. You are tired all the way through after this fish has landed untouched by sharks, and you have a bottle of Ballantine Ale and it tastes so good . . ."
Now, what were you muttering about Breslin lowering himself by plugging Olivetti?