Jamie Oliver and Sainsbury’s have announced that they will be parting company. Jamie, whose endorsement deal is said to be worth £1.5 million a year, has already been involved in over 100 TV adverts over 11 years.
Jamie first became famous with his television series The Naked Chef in the 1990s. However, most of us will now recognise Jamie, in his adverts for the supermarket giant which encourage us to, “try something new today”. He’s known for being one of the chattiest TV chefs, enthusiasm for food, not following the rules and having a loose cooking technique and his “pukka” catch phrases.
Both the parties insist that it is a mutual agreement that they have parted company and both just want to try something new.
Jamie said that “It’s been a fantastic 11 years and together we have achieved some great things. I’ll miss them but it’s a good time to move on”. He also wants to focus more time on social projects through the Jamie Oliver foundation.
The Chief Executive of Sainsbury’s, Justin King, said “Jamie has been an excellent ambassador for the Sainsbury’s brand over the past 11 years”.
However, Jamie and Justin have not always had a good relationship. They hit a rocky patch when Jamie campaigned against battery hens. With this campaign, generated a 50% increase in sales of free range and organic eggs. Eventually Sainsbury’s stopped selling eggs from battery hens.
Another time when they didn’t see eye to eye was when Jamie criticised parents who put crisps and fizzy drinks in their children’s lunchboxes. They also crossed swords when Jamie’s school dinner campaign saw Turkey Twizzlers removed from school’s menus.
Sainsbury’s Marketing Director, Claire Harrison Church, said “Jamie’s as popular as he’s ever been. Not only is he on TV, his restaurants are going from strength to strength and his books are selling like hot cakes”.
However, Jamie is spending more time in America and is working on launching a second restaurant chain as well as expanding Jamie’s Italian. The chef is busy working on hiring staff, taking out restaurant insurance and sorting out supplies for all his new restaurants.
Sainsbury’s has recently been running successful ad campaigns without Jamie, for example their Feed Your Family for £50 campaign, which generated huge sales increases and more than a million visits to the company’s website.
Jamie’s last campaign with Sainsbury’s will be their Christmas 2011 ads.