Hoddle dropped from `perfect family' ad

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The Independent Online
The makers of Shredded Wheat have dropped a television advertisement starring Glenn Hoddle and his family because it is "inappropriate" to use it following the break up of the England coach's marriage.

Cereal Partners, makers of the Shredded Wheat, said yesterday they were dropping the advertising campaign because they feared it would cause the family distress.

The company's statement said: "We viewed them as the rest of the country did, as a terrific family. We were therefore surprised and saddened to hear the announcement of the Hoddles' separation. Of course, under the circumstances, we do not feel it is appropriate to run the advertisement in future because we would not want to cause discomfort to viewers, or indeed Glenn and his family."

Cereal Partners' advertising agency, McCann-Erickson, has promoted the cereal as a breakfast with strong family associations ever since it started using the former Ireland football manager Jack Charlton and his grandchildren at the beginning of the Nineties. It started using Glenn Hoddle, his wife and three children in May following his appointment as national coach. Advertising industry experts estimate that Hoddle would have been paid up to pounds 100,000 for a year-long endorsement deal with the cereal company.

John Gorman, England's assistant coach and a friend of Hoddle's for 15 years, said yesterday that the break up of the marriage was unconnected with his role as England coach: "It was not the pressure, it was nothing to do with football. No one else was involved."

Mr Hoddle, whose popularity with the fans has saved him from the usual harsh treatment meted out by the tabloid press to England managers, had been married for 18 years. He met his wife at school in Harlow, Essex, when he was 15.

The former Tottenham midfielder is a born-again Christian who, with the exception of the Shredded Wheat ad, has kept his private and family life out of the public eye. The end of his marriage was announced by the Football Association in a statement which said it was a private matter unrelated to his job as England coach.

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