Thursday, January 04, 2007

Land Rover signs Zara Phillips to star in campaign

LONDON - Princess Anne's daughter, Zara Phillips, has become the first member of the royal family to star in an advertising campaign after being signed by Land Rover.

Phillips, who in August won gold at the World Equestrian Games in Germany riding Toytown, was photographed by Mary McCartney, daughter of Sir Paul, several weeks ago for the press campaign, which breaks this week.

The queen's granddaughter is pictured staring into the camera in a long mud-splattered Roberto Cavalli dress with a plunging neckline under the headline "Beautifully Poised".

News of the ad campaign came as Phillips, who is a talented rider, three-day eventer and show jumper, triumphed at last night's BBC Sport Personality of the Year. She picked up the trophy, beating golfer Darren Clarke into second place, 35-years after her mother, the Princess Royal, won it in 1971.

The campaign promotes the Land Rover's 4x4 vehicles, which are closely associated with horse riding and the countryside. A second ad for the Land Rover, which has sponsored Phillips for some time, will appear next year showing Philips in action as a three-day eventer.

However, by agreeing to appear in the ad, Phillips, who is eleventh in line to the throne, is likely to face criticism that she is cashing in on her fame and royal position.

The 25-year-old royal, who is the girlfriend of England rugby player Mike Tindall, receives no money from the civil list and she uses the cash from the Land Rover sponsorship to pay for the seven horses she keeps as part career as a three-day eventer, which is thought to cost around £500,000. The ad appearance is part of the sponsorship deal.

A Land Rover spokesman said: "We've been supporting her for some time now. This is part of our long-standing support for her. We will be doing another advert with her next year that sees her in action as a three-day eventer."

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