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02/03/2006 - par Mark Tungate

If you're a brand, and you're looking for the most influential celebrity in the world to hawk your products, who should you turn to ? The name's Bond - James Bond. Or rather, Sean Connery, who is among the world's most trusted celebrities, according to a new ranking called the Davie-Brown Index.

Davie-Brown is a Hollywood agency that arranges deals between celebrities and brands (www.davie-brown.com). The agency's ranking evaluates 1 500 celebrities based on criteria such as appeal, influence, trust, aspiration and awareness. It places Tom Hanks and Oprah Winfrey at the top of the list, with Tiger Woods nearby. Regular viewers of L'Invité de Marque (Direct 8) will already know that American Express recently used Tiger Woods for an ad. Sean Connery, who is listed at number 9 (not 007, unfortunately) has fronted for whisky brands Suntory and Dewars. Agency chairman Jeff Chown says it's the first time there has been a tool created by brands, for brands, to evaluate celebrities and their influence.

Your correspondent is not sure if craggy Englishman Daniel Craig, Connery's latest successor in the role of Bond, features on the list. He's certainly not the favourite of some aggrieved Bond fans, who've have launched a website called craignotbond.com. Personally, I'll wait for the movie. But whether Craig is the best choice for Bond or not, one thing is certain - he'll soon be the brand spokesman for Omega watches, Aston Martin cars and Brioni suits.

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