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Last Updated: Friday, 28 May, 2004, 11:16 GMT 12:16 UK
Lineker defends Walkers campaign
Gary Lineker
Gary Lineker says he will continue to endorse crisp brand
Football pundit and former England star Gary Lineker says he will stay on as the face of Walkers Crisps, despite the furore over stars advertising junk food.

The brand was named in a Commons report on an obesity crisis in the UK's young.

"Gary plans to continue working with Walkers for as long as his services are required," his spokesman said.

The star, who hosts the BBC's Match of the Day, has helped the company sell an extra 1.4bn bags of crisps in seven years, according to Walkers.

"He and his family are regular crisp eaters as part of a healthy balanced diet," his spokesman said.

Sales growth

Mr Lineker has been the face of Walkers Crisps for about 10 years and even spawned a brand called Salt n Lineker.

Abbot Mead Vickers, the agency which works for Walkers Crisps, said the firm saw sales grow from 1.34bn to 2.75bn packs a year - or a 105% surge in sales between 1995, when Walkers launched its "No More Mr Nice Guy" campaign featuring the star, and 2002.

He is believed to have a 1.5m deal with Walkers, lasting until 2006.

The Commons health committee report into obesity, published on Thursday, made direct reference to the use of sports stars such as Mr Lineker in junk food advertising.


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