Celebrity brand partnerships have become undeniably big business in recent years, and the success stories-the multiple links between artists and Apple, plus Pepsi's long-running association with the likes of Britney Spears, Beyoncé and Pink-speak for themselves.

From a brand perspective, positioning alongside the right face can transform a company's image, while the celebrity gains the possibility of further career development and longevity in the public eye.

Having worked in the marketing industry for much of my career, I set up Merlin Elite with the aim of managing rather than representing our clients, and a significant part of this involves working with brands to set up appropriate sponsorship deals.

This doesn't just involve someone being the "face" of a brand or product launch. Product placement is also becoming increasingly popular. The last two videos from my client Jamiroquai featured lucrative product placement deals with clothing brand Diesel and accessories brand Breil-a successful agreement for all parties, as both are an excellent fit with Jay Kay's image and fan base.

We have also recently managed a successful sponsorship deal between singer/actress Natalie Imbruglia and drinks brand Martini, joining the hugely successful association already established with George Clooney.

But, whereas adding Imbruglia as the face of Martini Rosato gives the brand a younger, more glamorous image-perfectly in keeping with the female audience that the brand wanted to appeal to-not all such deals prove so compatible.

A common mistake is to...

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Richard Thompson is founder of celebrity management firm Merlin elite.