Celebrity endorsements and product placement in films, two favourite routes for marketeers, have recently been under fire in the press.

Nespresso coffee packed in aluminium pods for coffee machines, as promoted by actor and green campaigner George Clooney, has been criticised for the fact that the pods – 15 billion discarded globally every year – can take 500 years to break down and are difficult and inconvenient to recycle. So most end up in landfill.

A TV ad for Walkers crisps featuring their promoter Gary Lineker has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after more than 100 complainants pointed out that the chances of winning the “Spell and Go” holiday competition fronted by Lineker were miniscule, owing to the rigging of the letter-collecting. Less than 1,000 of the 20,000 promised luxury holidays were actually won, and the ASA ruled that the competition breached industry codes.

The new film Bridget Jones Baby is a treat for those who like to spot product placement, with brands of clothes (adult and baby), technology, luggage, crisps, motor bikes, doughnuts, pregnancy testing kits, take-away food, champagne and supermarkets all getting a (yawn) showing. Question is does this kind of excess demean the actors and spoil the entertainment?

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