A tricky area, this, endorsements seem to fall into three categories:
1. artists who genuinely use and approve of a product
2. artists whose agents give their names to any old product, without their knowledge
3. dead artists, who don't have much of a say in the matter.
The first category is entirely free from criticism here - Kevin Keegan put much of his success way from the football pitch down to Brut aftershave, Ian 'Beefy' Botham's enormous bulk would no doubt be crippling were it not for his vibrating foot pad (available now from Argos, Boots, Robert Dyas and all good car boot sales), Ozzy gets through a lot of butter and Michael Parkinson gets through a lot of ballpoint pens.
The second category results in rather more fun - The Beatles promoting ice-creams, Stevie Wonder promoting video games, Carlos Santana promoting women's shoes (hang on, you mean he REALLY IS a shoe designer?).
Post-death endorsements can create some excellent ads (the Griff Rhys-Jones Holstein ads are always worth a revisit) although I do wonder whether Alan Titchmarsh has already filmed an, "I told you" coda to his life assurance ads.
Kiss probably deserve a 'Cod History' of their own - Kiss coffins are by no means the most bizarre bits of merchandise bearing the band's name, although they are the ones best suited to the phrase, "over my dead body".
editor's note: some or all of this might not be true