Sainsbury's offers Oliver £1m to front further ads after change of heart

Sainsbury's has offered Jamie Oliver £1 million to front its ads for another year.

The company denied it was preparing to split with Oliver before his success in Channel 4's Jamie's School Dinners changed its mind. A spokeswoman said: "Even before that programme, he was testing well with our focus groups. The new deal has been offered because he works on a yearly contract."

Sainsbury's original brief to the agencies recently involved in the pitch for its advertising account is said to have specified that the celebrity chef should not take a leading role in a new campaign. However, the brief was changed mid-pitch before Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO was reappointed to the £47 million brief last week.

Oliver's next commercial will see him promoting Jersey Royal potatoes and will air by the end of May.

The company has also denied speculation that it is set to review its media and direct marketing business. "There are no plans to do this at present," the spokeswoman said. "There have been a lot of reviews throughout the company recently, but these are not areas we are looking at changing now."

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