Kerry Katona given thumbs down as public shuns 'meaningless' celebrity endorsements

LONDON - Consumers are growing increasingly indifferent to "meaningless" celebrity endorsers, such as Kerry Katona and Denise Van Outen, instead preferring celebrities who fit the brand image, according to research.

The Dynamics of Celebrities and Brands survey by Conquest reveals that the public is discriminating in its views about celebrity endorsements, but still shows strong approval for seeing celebs in advertising, as long as they complement the brand.

David Penn, managing director at Conquest, said: "While the public might accept a celebrity endorsement for use in luxury products and even in clothing, watching Denise Van Outen sashaying around Morrison's doesn't ring true.

"On the other hand Lewis Hamilton -- youthful, winning, cool and sporty -- appears set to boost Vodafone's fortunes."

It also shows that Kerry Katona, a constant tabloid figure, is detrimental to Iceland's credibility with more than half of respondents saying she is not suitable to endorse the supermarket chain.

Other celebrity endorsements that scored well among consumers include Twiggy and Marks & Spencer, and the long-running association that Gary Lineker has with Walker's crisps.

The two are both seen as credible and trusty worthy names.

The survey said that brand owners, particularly of everyday multiples, such as Iceland and Morrison's, need to view celebrities as brands in their own right and consider what baggage the celebrity is bringing to their brand aside from just noise and buzz.

In the case of Kerry Katona this includes her much raked over personal life and problems with alcohol and drugs.

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