What are you peddling now?
Brussels is clearly still a novice when it comes to celebrity endorsement.
British politicians are deep into an era of cosying up to the bold and the beautiful, while their French counterparts go as far as to marry them.
But the European Commission’s efforts are hit and miss.
There’s the occasional Almodovar appearance on support for cinema, Rem Koolhaas and Umberto Eco have contributed to efforts to define ‘European’ culture, while Sir Bobby Charlton and a wealth of Manchester United and European football stars were wheeled out to mark the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome.
So what campaign, pray, would the commission choose to hang off Spanish cycling legend Miguel Induráin?
Perhaps the five-time Tour de France winner would be linked to an anti-doping initiative, timed to coincide with the current Tour?
Or a string of pan-European anti-smoking ads?
Noooo, not exactly.
The sporting hero was instead drafted in to help choose a new European logo for organic food…
He joins a jury of design, marketing and biofood experts drafted in to select the winning logo.
And his suitability for the campaign is explained tenuously by the commission as he is “the son of a farmer” and “has had a lifetime to polish his nutritional knowledge, and has personal experience of how this should be applied in practice.”
“His determined athletic spirit and strong feel for a beneficial diet provided valuable help to the jury in deciding which logos best represented organic products and which will be put forward to the final stage of the competition.”
Look out for David Beckham’s endorsement of new EU banking capital requirements and Penelope Cruz being recruited to back new regional management plans for North Sea pelagic stocks…
Feel then, with BM, the sweet irony of this headline from the the commission’s own research directorate’s website, which trumpets “Research says celebrity endorsements fail to meet expectations.”
*cracks open a can of genetically modified beer*