Whoops – Marlon Devonish stars in GSK Olympics blockbuster but he’s not going to the Games

Picking sports winners for your ads is notoriously difficult and GlaxoSmithKline has committed a vintage howler in choosing British sprinter Marlon Devonish to front its campaign plugging its role as the official drugs tester at the imminent London Olympics.

Sprinter Devonish, 36, has missed out, partly because one-time ‘drugs cheat’ Dwayne Chambers has had his British-imposed drugs ban overturned by the IOC. Which is a painful irony GSK would no doubt sooner ignore. The ad is called ‘The crowd is my only drug.’

These ad choices are made miles in advance of actual selection but, even so, Devonish at 36 was hardly a racing certainty for selection. So TBWA London’s powerful Olympics ad plugging GSK’s role at the Games has been left in the blocks somewhat.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.