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Americans split on celebrities’ charity impact

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Americans are divided over whether celebrities make a difference to the causes they support, a new study says.

Just over half the respondents in a nationwide Harris Poll conducted in March say celebrities make little or no positive difference to the causes they support, while 45 percent say such involvement does make a difference.

However, there is less disagreement on the impact of celebrity endorsements on consumers’ own charitable activities, the report says, with 15 percent of respondents saying they have supported a cause or sought more information because a celebrity told them to.

Half the respondents ages 18 to 31 say celebrities make a large or somewhat positive difference, a conclusion shared by 48 percent of Generation Xers, 43 percent of Baby Boomers and 38 percent of seniors.

Democrats are more likely than Republicans to see celebrities’ charitable interventions in a positive light.

Slightly more than half of Democrats say they believe celebrities’ work is not in vain, compared to only about one in three Republicans.

Some celebrities are more effective than others, respondents say.

Oprah Winfrey, cited by all four generations as the most effective celebrity cause-maker, led the top five, which included Bono, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt and George Clooney.

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