Will Kit Kat rue Girls Aloud tie?

LONDON - Media coverage of pop group Girls Aloud looking surly, fed up and cold, during the shoot for the latest Kit Kat Senses ad has highlighted the pitfalls associated with high-profile celebrity tie-ups.

Pictures of band member Sarah Harding making an obscene hand gesture at photographers are unlikely to be consistent with the image Nestle is trying to convey for the launch of its female-friendly 165-calorie chocolate bar.

The brand owner is lavishing a £9m adspend on Senses, which is designed to rival Ferrero's Kinder Bueno. The size of the budget makes it the company's biggest launch this year, and after confectionery flops such as Double Cream, the successful introduction of Senses is key.

Some coverage of the shoot has showed the band looking fantastic in party attire, but it is the substantial amount of negative press that is likely to endure in consumers' minds.

Jason Gallucci, managing director of PR agency Slice, which has worked with celebrities including Girls Aloud, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Charlotte Church, believes it is important to make sure stars are fully on board. 'You can do a deal with an agent but it doesn't always mean that the talent has bought into it,' he said, citing the example of Britney Spears, who was spotted drinking Coke after being signed up as the face of Pepsi.

However, Peter Shaw, managing director of Brand Catalyst, claimed that as long as Girls Aloud stay together, the tie-up is likely to work for Nestle. 'Where you have a problem with using celebrities is on issues to do with breaking the law, or serious morality concerns,' he said.

Celebrity Links

  • Iceland retained Kerry Katona despite lurid coverage of her private life. Insiders claimed the brand valued the extra publicity.
  • Kate Moss was dropped by Burberry when a picture of her allegedly snorting cocaine was published, but was quickly signed as the face of Virgin Mobile.
  • Jamie Oliver criticised Sainsbury's over the farming of battery chickens, but remains the face of its ad campaigns.

Can 'negative' publicity prove beneficial for a brand? Have your say


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Virgin, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message
Lynx unleashes £9m 'Peace invasion' campaign
Social Brands 100 Youth: Pizza Hut most social youth brand in UK
Cheryl Cole is wild and arresting in new L'Oreal work
Morrisons told not to show alcohol ads during YouTube nursery rhymes
O2 head of brand Shadi Halliwell departs after 23 years at company in restructure
Tesco hit by further sales decline as it turns to digital Clubcard and social network
Branding guru Wally Olins dies aged 83
Duracell short film captures epic Transatlantic voyage
Ash runs Tinder experiment to show smokers are less desirable to opposite sex
British Airways teams up with Gerry Cottle Jnr for summer of rooftop film screenings
Arklu says 'girls can be superheroes too' with doll design competition
Coke enters squash market with Oasis Mighty Drops
Virgin Galactic signs up Land Rover as space flight sponsor
Motorola marketer Andrew Morley departs as Google gears up for sale to Lenovo
US Airways apologises after tweeting obscene image at a customer
Mumsnet admits users' emails and passwords accessed via Heartbleed bug
Thetrainline.com backs 'rubbish' mobile app with TV ad
Powerade launches global World Cup campaign
Subway considers taking fast food to fast lane with F1 sponsorship
Burberry's flagship Shanghai store facade responds to weather changes
Ikea splurges 'grey' Belgium with colour
Grim outlook for Tesco boss Philip Clarke ahead of expected profits fall
Thomson to create first crowd-sourced wedding decided by Facebook fans
Currency wars meets origami in Alpari FX trading ad campaign
Amazon rumoured to launch 3D smartphone in September
Facebook to allow European users to store and transfer money on site, claims report
Unilever pilots multi-brand advertising with YouTube beauty channel
Lego, Coca-Cola, Net-a-Porter, Bitcoin and AOL: the digitally creative brands