What It Costs by Barry Tarshis

An excerpt from the book What It Costs by Barry Tarshis which explains the costs of everything imagineable, in this case cost to have a celebrity in your commercial.

A Review of Recent Books--Letting Them Speak for Themselves

WHAT IT COSTS by Barry Tarshis. New York:G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1977.

About the Book: A really innovative idea for a book, and very well done. This one tells you what almost anything in the world will cost you, if you want to do it or own it. For example, do you want to have sex therapy sessions in St. Louis at the Masters and Johnson Foundation? If so, two to three weeks will cost you $2,000 to $3,000. Or do you want your car made up as a Batmobile in North Hollywood? That'll be $85,000. Do you want to play a tennis match against Ilie Nastase or Rod Laver? You can play either one for between $7,500 and $10,000. There are 255 pages of equally intriguing information. The book is filled with offbeat, inside tidbits, is brightly written, and seems soundly researched.

From the Book:

A number of celebrities, for now at least, will not do a [TV] commercial for any price (Barbra Streisand, Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Gerald Ford), but their ranks keep getting slimmer and slimmer. Starting price for a well-recognized name is around $50,000. That's what Jimmy Connors got for the Canada Dry spot, what Eddie Arnold got for talking about pancake syrup, and what Phyllis George would want if you wanted her. If you want Muhammad Ali, you'll have to spend at least $100,000 for a local spot but $150,000 to $200,000 for a national campaign. Word is that Gregory Peck received $250,000 to talk about Travellers Insurance. which is roughly what Chanel pays to Catherine Deneuve. James Coburn reportedly got $500,000 in a Schlitz Light commercial in which he said only two words: "Schlitz Light." Rex Harrison is said to have received $300,000 to sit on a horse and talk about Datril--it took him about two hours. Steve McQueen received something like $1 million to endorse Honda motorcycles in Japan.

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