The CAR Top 10: most regrettable celebrity endorsements | CAR Magazine

The CAR Top 10: most regrettable celebrity endorsements

Published: 02 June 2017

► Celebs make everything better…
► …or do they?
► Try not to cringe at our Top 10

Are you a car maker struggling to sell certain car models? A good old-fashioned celeb endorsement should do the trick. Wheel in a well-known face, take some pics of them in or around your car of choice and sprinkle on a bit of cheese for good measure. Piece of cake.

Or is it? Here’s our Top 10 list of the iffiest celebrity car endorsements of recent times.

Jamie Laing

Jamie Laing Hyundai i10

You’ve probably no idea who Jamie Laing is, but believe me, that’s a good thing. A ‘star’ of ‘structured-reality’ TV ‘show’ Made In Chelsea, Jamie and his trustafarian friends drink, spend money and cheat on each other. For some reason that’s supposed to make you want to buy a Hyundai i10.

Take That

Take That VW Caravelle

A popular band on tour needs a proper tour bus, right? What better vehicle than a VW Caravelle? Well possibly a luxury coach with a special area containing paper and crayons for Robbie, but Gary Barlow was adamant that the Caravelle was ideal. Maybe it was the low tax band that swung it.

Lionel Blair

Lionel Blair Almera Flare

Possibly the greatest match-up in car-celebrity history, the spectacular averageness of the Nissan Almera Flare (geddit?) was complemented perfectly by hot-shoe-shuffler and Give Us A Clue veteran Blair. But at 88, Lionel is still a bit too young for the Almera’s target audience.

Fabio Capello

Fabio Capello Vauxhall Insignia

Football managers’ careers are susceptible to peaks and troughs; England managers tend just to get the troughs. Vauxhall’s tie-in with the home nations meant Fabio ‘scored’ an Insignia as his work wheels. Capello quit in early 2012, and hasn’t been seen with his Insignia since.

Peter Crouch

Peter Crouch Hyundai Santa Fe

For those of you not familiar with football, Peter Crouch is a former England striker of some success, but he’s chiefly known for his exceptional height (6ft 7in). So for Hyundai to show him fitting into the Santa Fe with room to spare would have been a sensible move… if only he could have smiled.

Atomic Kitten

Atomic Kitten MG

Don’t take this the wrong way, but the pop trio Atomic Kitten were clearly happy to put it about a bit. In their 
six-year heyday they had associations with the MG BTCC team, Seat and Toyota, while Jenny Frost was also happy to pose, post-Atomic Kitten, with a Nissan Micra C+C.

Chris Ellison

Jeep Compass Chris Ellison

Who better to plug your Jeep Compass than DCI Burnside from The Bill? A tough-talking detective who plays hard and fast with the rules and…wait, what? ‘He’s dressed as a pirate? Chris love, we need you as Burnside, not Captain Hook. No? Let’s just take the picture and run away.’

Kylie Minogue

Kylie Minogue Lexus CT

Everyone remembers Kylie draped over the Ford StreetKa, but fewer recall her campaign for the Lexus CT200h that consisted mainly of her shushing to camera. Perhaps some of her fee might have been better spent on softer suspension, or a non-CVT gearbox.

Keith ‘Cheggers’ Chegwin

Keith Chegwin Aston Martin DB7

TV’s cheeriest man, as well as the person most likely to say ‘cheers’, Chegwin bought this DB7 with his own money. One can only imagine that Aston Martin were delighted to be associated with someone who presented the UK’s first and only naked game show. Shudder.

James Martin

James Martin Maserati

Saturday morning TV-botherer and celebrity Yorkshireman James Martin has a long association with Maserati for some reason, but his shining moment in a car was scaring two cyclists off their bikes in a Tesla. And boasting about it in his column, until he was forced to apologise.

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By Matt Joy

Former associate editor of CAR magazine