How is Samantha Cameron breaking into Hollywood? Elementary, my dear Watson

Smythson – the upmarket stationery firm that employs PM's wife – turns to product placement

It may be a quintessential English firm – an Old Bond Street address and the Prime Minister's wife as an adviser helps – but the upmarket stationery manufacturer Smythson has decided it is time to expand the empire and break into Hollywood.

Smythson has branched into product placement to help promote the brand globally. Samantha Cameron is a creative consultant after stepping down from her £400,000 full-time post as creative director.

The latest outing of stylish goods is in Guy Ritchie's new blockbuster Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. In the film, expected to be this year's festive must-see, the camera lingers over a red Smythson diary.

The company sent the Sherlock producers a number of diaries to choose from and Holmes himself would deduce that the diary's use is, at least, historically plausible. The fictional detective first appeared in print back in 1887, the same year that Frank Smythson opened his store at 133 Bond Street to supply "first class stationery, leather goods and cabinet work".

Smythson is also pursuing other placements in films and television shows. And the visibility of its goods across film and television has helped the company triple its profits this year to £2.4m. A spokesman for the stationers said: "We decide which films we feel are relevant and fit with our brand and history ... we have been making our books and diaries in pretty much the same way for over 100 years so they won't be that different now to how they were in late Victorian England."

In the film A Single Man, directed by the fashion designer Tom Ford, the actor Colin Firth left a note about the proper way to knot his corpse's tie on an engraved Smythson note card.

Smythson products were also supplied to Page Eight, the suitably classy BBC spy thriller written by David Hare starring Bill Nighy.

They have featured in the James Bond franchise and Gossip Girl, the hit US teen television drama, which relies heavily on product placement of designer goods. And Smythson said it is regularly approached by prop masters for items to borrow. "SamCam" herself has indulged in product placement for the firm. In an "at home" profile for US Harper's Bazaar she plugged a handbag, diary, silver pen and keyring, all available at Smythson.

It's not the first traditional English brand to use Hollywood to expand its profile. In Woody Allen's tennis film Match Point, Scarlett Johansson carried one of Mulberry's Roxanne bags. The ruthless traders in Money Never Sleeps, Oliver Stone's Wall Street sequel, brandished Dunhill accessories while in literature Bentley forced Aston Martin off the road to get James Bond driving a Continental GT in the new novel, Carte Blanche, by Jeffery Deaver.

Product placement has become a vital source of funds for the film industry, with companies spending about $1.8bn last year to get on-screen prominence for their brands. Ms Cameron was recognised as the driving creative force behind Smythson as creative director. Her achievements included the £950 Nancy bag, named after the couple's daughter.

Arts and Entertainment
Chloe-Jasmine Whicello impressed the judges and the audience at Wembley Arena with a sultry performance
TVReview: Who'd have known Simon was such a Roger Rabbit fan?
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Maisie Williams plays 'bad ass' Arya Stark in Game of Thrones

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam