BACKBITE

As a hardened cynic I firmly believe that there’s no such thing as a match made in heaven, much less one that’s made in an advertising agency, so you’ll understand my bemusement at all the fuss generated by Chris Evans and Glenn Hoddle last week.

As a hardened cynic I firmly believe that there’s no such thing as

a match made in heaven, much less one that’s made in an advertising

agency, so you’ll understand my bemusement at all the fuss generated by

Chris Evans and Glenn Hoddle last week.



In their own way, both Chris and Glenn were examples of an age-old

problem. Celebrity endorser is held up as sun-shines-out-of-his-arse

brand spokesman, then goes off the rails (sex, drugs, over-attentiveness

to small animals) and theoretically damages the image of the brand he

promotes.



First Evans runs into trouble with the upstanding Alcohol Concern group,

which is apparently beside itself with worry about the dangers of

linking Beamish Red, the sponsor of Virgin Radio’s breakfast show, with

its laddish presenter.



Evans did enquire of his audience: ’If you can’t get pissed on your own

show, when can you get pissed?’ But you can bet that the joke did more

for Beamish Red than a bucketload of insipid jingles. What’s the point

of sponsoring Chris Evans if a bit of that ginger wit doesn’t rub

off.



Then there was Shredded Wheat, starring the Hoddle family. The ad itself

was remarkable only for the sadly unphotogenic nature of its stars. Then

Hoddle splits up with his wife and suddenly the ad is on page three of

the tabloids, a bloody great big still, in glorious colour, complete

with a box of Shredded Wheat.



Cereal Partners will now, of course, drop the ad (’we don’t want to

cause any discomfort to viewers or, indeed, to Glenn Hoddle and his

family’ a spokesman said with a fine sense of priority), but what a bang

to go out with.



At a time when ads have to work harder than ever to raise awareness and

drive sales, a rogue celebrity guaranteed to pepper the tabloids can,

perhaps, offer one solution. Any offers for Piers Merchant?



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