I've been working with celebrity and expert ambassadors ever since I was a very green press officer straight out of Uni. I am a very lucky lady who has got to work with some great people, who mostly gave their time for free when I was working to promote charities and I hardly ever had diva like requests. .. But it is a tricky thing to get right.
The M&S autumn/winter campaign has launched this week, moving away from Supermodels like Twiggy and Erin O'Connor they have, in the main, taken a massive step in the Dove 'real people' direction. Many are still instantly recognisable faces like US Vogue creative director Grace Coddington and ballerina Darcey Bussell. Then there's singers Ellie Goulding and Laura Mvula. But only one model and people such as Save the Children CEO Jasmine Whitbread and nurse of the year from 2011, Helen Allen.
It has to be said it is an odd mix without a common strong link. Poor Nicola Adams looks uncomfortable and I am not sure I buy-into Tracy Emin popping into M&S for a winter coat or Dame Helen for her bikini - as great as she looks in hers!
As an aside if it is about empowering British women with a campaign about 'Britain's leading ladies' why have we got an American photographer at the lense?
Whether you are approaching a celebrity to be the face of a charity appeal or a major commercial campaign for a brand it's important not to just go for who you like or who an agent offers. It's vital to think of your customer and the people they relate to or admire. The M&S campaign has, possibly unfairly, been criticised for not having enough grey haired ladies but I am sure M&S are trying to attract younger women with this ensemble.
But it is far from the worse culprit - Flora with Vernon Kay and his mum doing a wholesome family ad after allegations of an indiscretion with a smart phone anyone? Or Bernard Matthew, the creators of my old friend Turkey Twizzler, and Marco Pierre White... and who knew that Ozzy Osbourne uses I can't believe it's not butter or that David Beckham always carries a Sharpie pen. But on Becks, the Sky Sports advert with him is a dream endorsement and has been extended around the world. But have you noticed he doesn't speak!?
'For once in my life...' I can watch the Sky Sports advert over and over and I don't even like footie!