Female consumers turned off by 'tabloid fodder' endorsing brands

LONDON – Jordan and Jodie Marsh may sell newspapers, but it is so-called posh totty such as Joanna Lumley and reliable celebrities such as Twiggy that are encouraging female consumers to buy brands, according to new research.

A survey by the Proficiency Group, organisers of the Rethink Pink international marketing to women conference, found that women would rather see "reliable" and "trustworthy" people that help create a positive impression about a brand, as opposed to "cheap" and "tacky" celebrities.

Barbara Windsor, Cherie Blair, Judith Chalmers and even the Queen, ranked unfavourably with consumers, according to the 1,011 women who took part in the survey.

These celebrities were deemed "uncool" with consumers, while high-profile names such as Gwen Stefani, Kelly Holmes, Paula Radcliffe, Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French were found to be far more appealing.

Lumley, most famous for her role as Patsy in 'Absolutely Fabulous', is currently the face of Privilege Insurance for the "You don't have to be posh to be privileged" ad campaign created by M&C Saatchi. She has previously appeared in a number of ad campaigns for brands including Astral, Pledge and Jordan Cereals.

Sixties supermodel Twiggy was recently named as the face that has help turn around the fortunes of Marks & Spencer for its autumn/winter campaign, created by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R. 

According to the research, even "fallen angels" such as Kate Moss still appear to carry importance with the consumer. However, "babes" such as Jennifer Ellison and Natasha Kaplinsky are far from ideal for women.

Marketers are being warned that women do not want "tabloid fodder", such as Jordan and Jodie Marsh because they are said to inspire no confidence in the female consumer.

Peter Frost, managing director of The Proficiency Group, said: "The celebrity lifestyle is something that women are particularly fascinated by, so it is key for marketers to carefully select the right celebrity in endorsing their brand and maximising awareness.

"This survey has shown in particular that modern, well-established, independent women have topped the rankings, while those that have been over-exposed in the media for all the wrong reasons have lost the vote."

The Rethink Pink international marketing conference takes place on Thursday November 10 at the Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch, London.

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