Does Nespresso have a clue about who’s to replace departing spokesman George Clooney?

So, Nestlé is to drop George Clooney – Hollywood’s suavest since Cary Grant – as brand ambassador for Nespresso, to replace him with – what?

Marketing’s John Reynolds, who got the scoop, does not specify. A Nestlé spokesman cryptically waffled on about “a solid relationship over the years” (seven of them in all) but reminded us “that it is our Club Members who are the true representation of the Nespresso brand.” As if to suggest there is to be some kind of democratic process in installing a successor.

That I very much doubt, unless it be of the sort going on in Vatican City right now. There are literally millions of Club Members – indeed, just about anyone who has ever sipped one of the capsule concentrates has been signed up, making the prospect of an election an act of co-creation too far.

The truth is, the writing has been in the froth for poor old George for some time now. New senior personnel at Nestlé, new agency, new ideas: and George has been at it for seven years now, making his brand of charm a tad tired.

Here he is in his pomp: dark, rich, seductive; totally encapsulating the Nespresso brand image:

Last year, Clooney got ignominiously elbowed aside in the States by Penelope Cruz, and where the States leads, the Rest of the World still follows – more or less.

The surprise is the relationship has lasted as long as it has, however. Early on, Clooney – who is as well known for his do-goodist persona as his acting and directing – was brought to book by the Nestlé boycott crowd. They pointed out, in no uncertain terms, the hypocrisy of Clooney’s stance in the film Michael Clayton, where he plays a maverick lawyer taking on an, er, sinister international corporation; and his simultaneous commercial endorsement of Nestlé, cynical purveyor of baby-milk formula in Third World countries where mothers have insufficient access to clean water. George’s response? I thought I was just earning a living.

You know what, though? I think it was the beard that finally did for Clooney. What it’s all about, this beard fetish that seems to have afflicted Hollywood stars recently?

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