Bring your concern for the world, and your autograph book

LionelrichieWhew! That World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. If AdFreak ever gets invited, we’ll have to make sure to get some designer duds and borrow a tasteful, and phenomenally expensive, brooch from Harry Winston. The conference had the mega-ambitious tagline: "Committed to improving the state of the world." But we read several stories in recent days that made us wonder if a more suitable tagline might have been “Commited to improving the activism careers of lotsa celebrities.”

No, we’re not talking about the ad world’s own Sir Martin Sorrell, although he was in attendance. We’re talking about Richard Gere, Angelina Jolie and Sharon Stone, among others.

Though thousands of words were devoted to the conference’s creeping glitz factor in this story in The New York Times, for us, the fact that the conference might be suffering a celeb overdose really boiled down to two things:

1) Last week, the New York Post filed its 50-photo online feature of the event under the topic header, “Entertainment.” (The link now appears to be down. You’ll just have to trust us.)

2) Lionel Richie—better known, these days, as the father of Nicole—was in attendance. While we applaud people using their famous names to get causes noticed, it’s dismaying to realize the ultra-serious conference now has a mere two degrees of separation from Paris Hilton.

—Posted by Catharine P. Taylor

Photo credit: Pierre Verdy/AFP/Getty Images