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31st March 2010, London, UK – Pop star Kylie Minogue and X-Factor judge Cheryl Cole were named as the UK’s most powerful celebrities today in Millward Brown’s latest UK research study that analyses celebrity and brand equity to identify appropriate brand partnerships.

The study leverages the leading market research agency’s new Cebra (celebrity + brand) research tool which is the first to go beyond existing ratings of how well a celebrity is known by consumers (Familiarity) to include measures of Affinity (how well they are liked) and Buzz (how much they are talked about online and offline). The FAB ratings produce an overall Cebra score, which, combined with additional analysis of brand and celebrity personality, identifies brand and celebrity partnerships with the greatest marketplace potential.

“Choosing which celebrity to work with is a tricky business for brands,” said Mark Husak, head Millward Brown’s UK media practice. “And since millions of pounds are often invested in the association, getting it right is as critical for brands as it is for celebrities. Brands need a comprehensive understanding of celebrity and brand equity based on real consumer opinion. They also need to be aware of other external influences that could impact the brand such as celebrity behaviour and relationships.”

The study ranks celebrities with the highest Cebra score among UK adults aged between 18 and 65. The top 10 were:

1) Kylie Minogue
2) Cheryl Cole
3) David Beckham
4) Ant & Dec
5) Joanna Lumley
6) Terry Wogan
7) Jamie Oliver
8) George Clooney
9) Sean Connery
10) Helen Mirren

Other notable findings from the 2010 study include:

• UK celebrities have more power among UK consumers than foreign celebrities with notable exceptions:

- Kylie Minogue, who tops the overall ranking (with a Cebra score of 67), is widely accepted as an adopted Brit. She scores well on affinity and has no negative buzz. She is a good match for L’Oreal, Yahoo, Cadbury and Lucozade.

- US star George Clooney (at no 8 in the ranking with a Cebra Score of 61) also has high affinity with no negative publicity. Being seen as clever and outgoing. Clooney fits well with Guinness.

• Celebrities can make a comeback. Despite the negative media attention that has surrounded Cheryl Cole in the past she is 2nd in the ranking and has the highest positive Buzz score (80 percent positive). She is sympathetic and outgoing and well matched to Coca-Cola and New Look. Her mix of exciting, endearing and engaging traits seems to be a winning combination.

• Age is key to achieving a high role model score. The best celebrity role models were Joanna Lumley, Judi Dench and Helen Mirren, proving that age really does matter.

• The worst celebrity role models are regulars in the gossip columns, Amy Winehouse, Katy Price and Paris Hilton. They exhibit strong personality scores on Playful and Spontaneous and below average on Sensible and Reserved.

• Bad behaviour can also influence role model status: Jonathan Ross joins Tiger Woods and John Terry on the list of the 10 Most Negative Role Models.

• James Bond’s personality transcends actors who play him. Daniel Craig, Roger Moore and Sean Connery all have above average scores on Sensible, Clever and Calm, and low scores for Playful, Spontaneous and Sympathetic.

Millward Brown says Cebra can be used in a number of situations such as: brands seeking to leverage the power of celebrity for brand awareness or to evolve a brand; talent firms and production companies to find potential brand partners and media owners to more accurately target potential advertisers. The UK Cebra study will be published quarterly and is available via subscription. Bespoke research and analysis for UK or global associations can also be commissioned.

Cebra is the latest research offering from Millward Brown’s UK media practice, which was set up this year to provide media research and consultancy to media owners (to identify and leverage the strength of their media brands), agencies (to support superior channel strategies) and advertisers (to optimise media investments).

*Cebra combines consumer measures of a celebrity’s Familiarity, Affinity and Buzz to produce an overall score that relates to the celebrity’s attractiveness to marketers. The score ranges from 1 to 100 (where 1 is low and 100 is high).


About Millward Brown

Millward Brown ( is one of the world's leading research agencies and is expert in effective advertising, marketing communications, media and brand equity research. Through the use of an integrated suite of validated research solutions — both qualitative and quantitative — Millward Brown helps clients build strong brands and services. Millward Brown has more than 78 offices in 51 countries. Additional practices include Millward Brown's Global Media Practice (media effectiveness unit), Millward Brown Optimor (focused on helping clients maximize the returns on their brand and marketing investments) and Dynamic Logic (the world leader in digital marketing effectiveness). Millward Brown is part of Kantar, WPP's insight, information and consultancy group.

Note to editors: For further information please contact:

Teresa Horscroft
UK PR Consultant
Tel: +44 (0)1420 564346
Mobile: +44 (0)7990 520390


Dominic Harders
Marketing Manager
Millward Brown UK
Tel: +44 (0)1926 826455

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