Procter & Gamble has signed up the glamorous Gladiators' presenter Ulrika Jonsson to endorse its head & Shoulders brand for another year -- ending speculation that her much-publicised marital problems had also caused a rift with the conservative multinational.
Rumours had been circulating that P&G and its ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi were scouting for another celebrity spokesperson to complement, or possibly replace, Jonsson. Even Marti Pellow, lead singer with the pop group Wet Wet Wet, has been mentioned as a possible contender.
But the fact that the contract has now been extended has effectively scotched rumours of a split. Jonsson's agent Melanie Cantor, says: "In fact they've literally just renewed the contract. The other day Ulrika was in the studio dubbing a foreign commercial. There's no truth to those suggestions, none whatsoever."
The only response from P&G and Saatchi & Saatchi is a blanket "no comment".
Jonsson's public profile is much higher than it was when P&G signed her up last year, thanks to the success of the Gladiators TV show which she presents. That has helped Head & Shoulders' advertising recall -- in July it leap-frogged P&G stablemate Wash & Go to top the Adwatch sector survey of haircare ads with 67% recall.
But with that higher profile comes new dangers -- as the media scrutiny of her recent marital problems and her serialised "confessions" to a national newspaper have shown. …