Oliver agrees new ad deal with Sainsbury's

Sainsbury's has abandoned plans to replace the celebrity TV chef Jamie Oliver as the face of its advertising.

Oliver, who has fronted Sainsbury's ads for the past four years, this week agreed a one-year deal with the supermarket, reported to be worth more than £1 million.

The troubled chain was understood to be looking for a replacement for Oliver, to go head-to-head against the rival supermarket Tesco.

Despite being lambasted as one of the most irritating figures on television, Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO's campaign starring Oliver won a silver at the IPA Effectiveness Awards in 2002 and is seen as central to Sainsbury's revitalisation.

Dominic Rowell, the national advertising manager at Sainsbury's, said: "Jamie is enormously popular with our customers. Whether it's through ads or product ranges, his passion for food and energy have managed to grab and maintain consumer attention."

In a change from his previous performances, Oliver will appear as a "quality detective" in a series of new TV and radio ads.

They will continue the campaign that appeared over the May bank holiday, in which Oliver tries out the supermarket's Italian range. The new work will see the chef visiting some of Sainsbury's suppliers to assess the authenticity and quality of various products.

Oliver will also work behind the scenes with Sainsbury's new product development team to bring new standards of quality.

Oliver said: "Working with Sainsbury's gives me the chance to reach and inspire millions of customers with fresh ideas on making the most of Sainsbury's top quality foods and ingredients.

"I'm looking forward to another exciting 12 months packed with new projects aimed at trying to make better food more accessible to everyone."

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