Maria, Boris and Chris Evans: three reasons why the cult of celebrity backfires – for brands too

*Tennis player Maria Sharapova (below) is facing a four-year ban for taking some tablets she claims she’s been taking legally for ten years. It’s hard to believe that these potions have actually helped her become a more successful tennis player; she still can’t beat Venus Williams.


But suddenly ‘ethical’ sponsors Nike (Nike for Chrissake, sponsors of all sorts of dodgy sportspersons) Porsche and Tag Heuer have abandoned Maria. The more brands get involved with things they don’t really understand the worse they do. There’s a lot more in Nike and Porsche’s locker than there is in Maria’s I suspect. Can’t speak for the watch company.

BorisJohnson*Is Boris Johnson (left), would-be leader of the ‘Brexit’ campaign in the UK, a self-serving poodle faker? Looks like it as Boris, without the support of his clever team as Mayor of London, fumbles and bumbles through the arguments about leaving the EU. Boris is Donald Trump without a wall.

*Radio 2 breakfast host Chris Evans has, apparently, been told off by his BBC bosses for plugging the new, sans-Clarkson, Top Gear programme, which he’s hosting. The Beeb is already paying him about £2m a year for getting up early.

There’s no way that Evans can do both. Or, according to BBC rules (which seem to apply to everybody else), keep his lucrative motoring reviewer gig on the Mail on Sunday.

Top Gear used to make the Beeb over £100m a year in foreign sales – so they’re panicking. Clarkson and co’s new Amazon venture may be a total flop but the Tiggerish Evans is just as likely to piss off Top Gear’s sofa-bound petrol heads. Which may be why the Beeb has announced a presenter line-up of about 72 – including, for some bizarre reason, Friends’ Matt LeBlanc (some of whom are pictured below).

Since he took over as head of the Beeb director-general Tony Hall has dealt with most things pretty well. An ever-expanding presenter line-up may signify that he’s made a big cock-up with Evans and Top Gear.

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