US

Advertisers, and the celebrities who endorse their services, will be liable for any untruthful statements made about products, as part of a crackdown by US regulators announced on Monday.

But apart from being welcomed by the FT in an editorial on Wednesday, the new rules, which cover the use of testimonials in advertising, could prove a hidden boon.

While an endorsement from the right celebrity at the right time, or advertising campaigns using famous people, can prove very beneficial, they can do more harm that good – as this top 10 (in ascending order of embarrassment) of worst celebrity endorsements highlights…

10. US Beef Industry Council – Cybill Shepherd

In 1986, the Beef Industry Council hired actress Cybill Shepherd – the Hollywood starlet who was enjoying a new lease of life alongside Bruce Willis in Moonlighting at the time – to expound on her beef cravings for the “real food for real people” campaign.

Within weeks of the campaign starting, however, Shepherd admitted in public that she tried to “stay away from red meat”.

In January 1988, her contract was not renewed.

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Leyla Boulton is an editor on the FT's main newsdesk
Andrew Edgecliffe-Johnson is the FT's media editor
Robin Harding is an FT correspondent in Tokyo
George Parker is the FT's political editor
Sean Smith is an editor on the FT's international companies desk

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