One of the weekend papers had a half page ad featuring Jonny Wilkinson telling us the wonders of some financial product (I think). Now, I’m a huge fan of Jonny – he was a main character in my all-time favourite TV programme back in 2003 and is one of the best role models that I can think of for today’s kids. However, if I want good financial advice then I’m probably not going to have a word in his ear – I might well want a chat with whoever looks after his dosh but probably not the man himself.


Also he lives in Toulon now and may not be totally up to speed with all the latest wheezes available here in the UK.


I feel a bit the same about trusting George Clooney to advise me on what coffee I should drink or Luis Figo recommending ‘Just for Men’ out of his concern for my sartorial appearance.

Maybe I’m a bit cynical but I am just a tad worried that all this valuable counsel may have more to do with the benefits to their bank accounts than real concern for my welfare.

The Santander ads are a hoot – Rory Mcilroy baking a pie (maybe Caroline can’t cook?) whilst promoting the benefits of getting 1% cashback on purchases of gas and electricity. He’s coupled with Jenson Button who also spouts lyrically about the bank – at least when he’s not washing his hair with Head and Shoulders to clear up his dandruff anyway. The ads which also feature Jessica Ennis seem to focus on the three being stalked for their sound financial acumen – good luck with that guys! I do happen to bank with Santander and am thinking of moving on the basis that Rory and co’s fees may be draining the bank’s capital and pushing it towards the edge. I’m not sure that’s quite what the Santander ad blokes intended.

Of course I may well be wrong – after all Rory has signed a contract with Nike for squillions and Jenson is not short of a few bob so maybe they are genuine fans of these brands and just want to help us. Although I am not totally sure they are doing it for entirely altruistic reasons.


The most shameful one for me, was Tony Underwood making light of the fact that he’d been stuffed by Jonah and pocketing silver from Pizza Hut – I expect it from footballers but was embarrassed that this was somehow supposed to be amusing, it certainly didn’t make me rush down for a stuffed ‘Tony’ crust (apologies to the real Tony Crust who played for Blackheath and is a good bloke).

The England rugby team did feature in an O2 ad – but I suspect that was part of the sponsorship deal and wasn’t that lucrative.

Some of the most unlikely alliances are Marco Pierre White for Bernard Matthews (seriously Marco?), the Blackburn Rovers side for Venky’s chicken and Gordon Ramsey pushing Specsavers.

My absolute fav though is (drum roll) Gavin Henson advertising BritBingo – no wonder Carl Fearns clocked him (maybe Gav had nicked his dayglo pen and bingo card).

What next?

Hugh Grant and Russell Brand promoting an online dating site? Victoria Beckham advertising the Anorexia Society?  Ross Kemp going on about his success with Regaine?

David Beckham pushing Wonga?


For ads to work there has to be a bit of credibility – would the One Direction fans start buying incontinent pants just because Harry told them to? Okay, bad example – some of them are still in nappies as it is. Farley’s Rusks could probably work though.

There are a lot of Askeans who would have been good for some brands –

The Anger Management Society – ambassadors to include Chunky, Gram E, both Kevs, Jimmy, Lunny, Peety (obviously), Kieran, Chas and the Chevals.

Regaine – Jimmy and Farrelley

The NHS – Kev Burnett

The Vegetarian Club – Phil Amato – although would have been better if we had nicknamed him Tom

The Canine League – Doggy, Butch and Pug

Stagecoach – Bus

BBC’s Boat Race coverage – Bob, Bush, Boney, Mick M, Locks, Dave E, Paddy and Oaksey

Learning cockney – Oaksey and Hugo

Edinburgh Crystal glasses – endorsed by yours truly

High and Mighty – Mini, Murph and Hickey

Heineken, Guinness, London Pride, Pataks and the Curry Queen – everyone who ever played for Askeans.

A final word for the Marlboro cowboy – who took his promotional work a bit too seriously died of lung cancer!