Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay has been signed up as the new face of UK off-licence chain Threshers.
The star of The F Word and Hell's Kitchen TV shows will be the famous face for the drinks brand into the middle of 2007.
The new campaign - Wines You Can Swear By - is designed to position Threshers stores as highly knowledgeable and credible, yet unpretentious, about wine.
Building on Threshers' current sponsorship of Ramsay's Hell's Kitchen USA, the chef will appear in store, as well as in advertising and promotional activity.
Window displays will show the infamously hot-tempered cook alongside the Wines You Can Swear By strapline and the star will also feature as the face of Threshers monthly wine and champagne recommendations.
Once inside the store, customers will be able to pick up free recipe cards for dishes. The cards also offer his personal wine recommendations and tie-in with a series of country-themed promotions, commencing with Spain and Chile.
Threshers is the UK's 13th biggest private retailer and serves more than 150 million customers a year, according to the company's website. However, the firm has come under increasing pressure from supermarkets offering discounts on beer and cheaper wines. Competitor Unwins went into administration last year and Threshers picked up 200 of the defunct chain's outlets.
Multiple retailer off-licences currently have 13% of market share in alcoholic drinks in the UK, while supermarkets have 66%, independent grocers have 10% and independent off-licences have 5%.
Threshers' ad agency is Billington Cartmel and Mindshare is the firm's media buying partner.
By Alicia Buller
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