Diary: Owen's mother spurns JWT's money for Persil

Celebrities in ads are ten-a-penny these days. If they're not endorsing sports drinks, or mobile phones, it's hamburgers and clothing ranges.

You name, it they'll put their face to it.

Footballers are no exception. When the Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen is not busy demonstrating his ball skills on the football field, he is the face of Persil.

The latest ad, which is part of a campaign by J.Walter Thompson, follows the baby Michael from the kick of his first ball to his recognition as a superstar.

For authenticity, the commercial was shot in the house and on the football pitches where the boy Owen used to play.

And just to give the ad that something extra, Michael's mother, Jeanette, was brought in to provide the voiceover.

In dulcet tones she comments wryly about her hand in his success, but it seems she has no delusions of grandeur.

As one of the country's top strikers, Michael may have a multimillion-pound price tag on his head.

In contrast, Mrs Owen comes at a slightly more reasonable price. When JWT offered her some kind of fee for her help in making the commercial, she declined any monetary settlement, preferring instead to be paid in Persil.

Maybe it's about time she got herself an agent.

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