Calm down, dear! Winner was a loser, but now Jamie takes the prize for worst ad

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver and former Atomic Kitten Kerry Katona will be among the "winners" in a list of the most irritating adverts of 2006, to be published this week.

The pair feature prominently among household names and brands of shame in this year's top 20 most annoying TV ads.

The outright winner is a cringe-making commercial for InjuryLawyers4U, the personal injury consortium, which features a cheesy courtroom cross-examination. This is closely followed by toe-curling efforts for household cleaner Cillit Bang and car insurer Sheilas' Wheels.

Also among this year's advertising irritations are Katona's much derided efforts for Iceland, the frozen-food store, and Oliver's campaign for the supermarket chain Sainsbury's. This included his recent Dickens-themed Christmas offering, which was actively disliked by 25 per cent of those questioned by the market research company TNS.

Other aggravating adverts include one for Picture Loans, which sees a man securing a telephone loan while his partner, inexplicably, films proceedings on a camcorder, and another for the indigestion remedy Gaviscon, which features a female policewoman with heartburn suddenly able to breakdance and direct traffic to the tune of "Flashdance".

The annual survey, to be published in Marketing magazine, has featured some memorably bothersome former winners over recent years. These include a purple-bearded Billy Connolly trying to rebrand the National Lottery as the Lotto, John Cleese's booming efforts for Sainsbury's and Michael Winner's appearance for Esure, the insurance company, uttering the immortal words: "Calm down, dear, it's only a commercial."

Marketing editor Craig Smith said that, contrary to popular belief, a lot of advertisers now see the annual list of irritating ads as a mark of success.

"Three or four years ago, advertising agencies would be embarrassed by this tag, but now they wouldn't bat an eyelid at being called distasteful," Mr Smith said. "Irritating ads are a bit like spoonfuls of foul-tasting medicine - they may leave a sour taste in the mouth [but] people remember them - and act on them."

If anything, the survey reinforces the fact that hiring a celebrity is not a sure-fire quick fix in adland. Katona and Oliver join a long list of celebrities to enter the hall of shame since its inauguration 16 years ago. These include Samuel L Jackson for Barclays, Claudia Schiffer for Citroën, Carol Vorderman for Benecol and the former England striker Ian Wright for Chicken Tonight.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

Guru Careers: Senior Account Manager / SAM

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: A Senior Account Manager / SAM is needed to join the ...

Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Manager (EMEA) - City, London

£55000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Manager...

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine