Do as I say, not as I do

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The Independent Online

Proof, then, if any were needed, that advertising really is a cynical old game. The world's greatest living sportsman, Tiger Woods, does not use the Nike golf balls that he is paid to endorse. The celebrity chef Jamie Oliver does not, after all, nip down to Sainsbury's when he is running low on groceries, as you might think from watching the supermarket's current TV adverts.

Proof, then, if any were needed, that advertising really is a cynical old game. The world's greatest living sportsman, Tiger Woods, does not use the Nike golf balls that he is paid to endorse. The celebrity chef Jamie Oliver does not, after all, nip down to Sainsbury's when he is running low on groceries, as you might think from watching the supermarket's current TV adverts.

We must, it would seem, be vigilant when we are exposed to the techniques of the hidden persuaders and their famous fronts. Maybe Ken Livingstone cannot stand red leicester, for which he memorably spoke up a few years back. We must face up to the possibility that Jim Davidson does not "need a car but can't get credit" (with a minimum part-exchange of £1,000). It may even be the case that Carol Vorderman does not use that stuff that is like margarine but better for you. And - here we must brace ourselves - could it be that Dame Thora Hird has no need of that famous make of stairlift that she is often pictured rising in among the classified ads and instead skips up to bed like a mountain goat?

It could be the end of the celeb endorsement, but never mind; they can always go back to what they are best at advertising - themselves.

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