Celebrity advertising campaigns boost press coverage

LONDON - Paying large sums of money for celebrities to appear in advertising campaigns ensures high coverage of the advertisements in the national press, according to the latest Ads that Make News survey.

Walkers Crisps took the top slot with campaigns featuring Gary Lineker dressed in drag, an appearance by supermodel Helena Christensen, and an ad for Golden Balls featuring Victoria and David Beckham.

In second place came Pepsi, which was recently in the news for signing up Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates to sit alongside A-list celebs Beckham and Britney Spears as a spokesman for the brand, in an attempt to steal market share from rival Coca-Cola.

However, not all the news the stars have attracted for Pepsi has been flattering -- Spears has been spotted drinking other brands of fizzy drinks, including one owned by Coca-Cola.

Jamie Oliver and Sven Goran Erickson took third place for Sainsbury's, while cricketer Graham Gooch for Advanced Hair Studio was in fourth place.

Gooch's success was helped by a successful publicity stunt when the advertiser challenged a ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority.

The Inland Revenue was in fifth place, after being named by Marketing as the most irritating ad of the year for its Mrs Doyle from 'Father Ted' commercial. In sixth place came Johnny Vegas and Monkey for ITV Digital, which despite advertising a nearly collapsed service has won widespread popularity.

In seventh place were the Halifax's ads featuring Howard, a real-life bank manager, who flies around singing on the back of a swan.

In joint eighth place were rival tea brands PG Tips and Tetleys, which attracted national press coverage when they axed their long-running mascots the PG Tips chimps and the Tetley Tea Folk.

Ali G was in 10th place with the poster for his film ' Ali G Indahouse', which was banned for being rude and offensive.

The survey, compiled by Media Report Editorial, shows that the Daily Star is the most ad-friendly national newspaper, followed by the Daily Telegraph in second place, The Times in third and the Daily Mirror in fourth.

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