The latest ad campaign for Tizer has incensed the agents representing Luciano Pavarotti and Joanna Lumley because of the use of celebrity lookalikes.
Tizer’s owner AG Barr is running bus ads featuring lookalikes of famous people.
Lumley’s lookalike, Sue Bradley from Wiltshire, appears dressed as the Absolutely Fabulous Patsy character with the catchline “Absolutely Refreshing Sweetie”. Doubles of Pavarotti and Oasis star Liam Gallagher are also used.
None of the celebrities gave permission for the use of the doubles. The Code of Advertising Practice prevents advertisers from implying endorsements where none exist.
Agents demand that the ads are withdrawn and yesterday (Tuesday) joined forces to call for a charity donation from Tizer in recompense.
“This is a monstrous thing to do. Celebrities can get over-exposed. When Joanna endorses a product it is carefully thought through and is only done for a substantial fee,” says Sheila Wilson, head of the commercial division for Lumley’s agents Conway van Gelder.
The Patsy character is carefully guarded under copyright and cannot be used in ads.
Pavarotti’s spokesman is equally enraged. “Luciano very, very rarely endorses a product, and when he does it is very tightly controlled.”