Asda has said that it believes the celebrity endorsement of brands can often be overrated, referring specifically to celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's link to rival supermarket Sainsbury's.

"Just because a celebrity tells you to buy something or shop somewhere, doesn't necessarily mean consumers will respond," a spokesperson for the retailer told just-food today (7 February).

In a media interview, Asda's new marketing boss was critical of what he termed Jamie Oliver's 'pretentious' style. Refering to Oliver's chesnut and bacon recepe, Bendel said: "To many people, horse chestnuts are just conkers. There are pretensions, even when someone with a fake Cockney accent tells people to eat them."

"Jamie Oliver is overexposed," a spokesperson for Wal-Mart's UK unit told just-food. "Certain consumer groups are tiring of hearing of him."

Asda, which is engaged with Sainsbury's in a tightly contested battle to be the UK's second largest supermarket, recently aired poorly received adverts featuring Sharon Osbourne. Asda is now launching ads with a new agency.