From Great to Gone: Celebs Losing Sponsorhips

In Uncategorized on February 19, 2009 at 5:37 am

page3celebsIt looks like celebrities have been royally screwing up lately. First Michael Phelps gets caught smoking pot, then Chris Brown is arrested on charges of beating Rihanna. Not only do they have to face an incredible amount of public heat for their socially unacceptable actions, but they are also dealing with consequences greatly affecting their careers.
Both public figures have faced the loss of sponsorship from big name advertisers. Additionally, Chris Brown has been losing musical exposure as a result of the alleged beating he gave Rihanna.

Following the release of the photo of Phelps taking a bong hit, Kellogg Co. made a public statement announcing that they had decided not to renew their contract with the Olympic gold medalist. “Michael’s most recent behavior is not consistent with the image of Kellogg. His contract expires at the end of February, and we have made the decision not to extend his contract,” said Susanne Norwitz, spokeswoman for Kellogg.

Brown seems to have taken an even harder hit, not of marijuana, but in the loss of corporate support. Not only does he face the possibility of losing sponsorship from the Wrigley Corporation and the Milk Mustache campaign, but he is losing good exposure on the airwaves. Since the allegations against him, Sesame Street has removed re-runs of an episode featuring Brown and radio stations have been refusing to air his songs, due to the heavy volume of listener complaints.

The program director of Cleveland radio station 96.5 Kiss FM explains his reason for removing the artist from their playlists. “It appears that Chris has made some poor choices, we are following the lead of our listeners, and we will not be supporting Chris Brown on 96.5 Kiss FM in Cleveland until the alleged situation gets resolved.”

While this loss of support must be frustrating to the famous figures, it is entirely warranted. The simple fact is that these corporations are merely trying to be business savvy. They are protecting the future of their companies and the image that they are attempting to represent.
I must say that I do sympathize a bit with Phelps’ situation, which was seemingly a lapse in judgment, so unfortunately caught on camera.

Ashton Kutcher put it best saying, “God forbid he hit a bong. Go ask your 20-year-old kid what they did last weekend. I’m not saying it was a smart move. But he doesn’t need to be publicly outed for it.”

Unfortunately, however, he was publicly outed and Kellogg must face the image that he is now forcing them to represent. When a company is trying to tell you that their product is healthy for your body and then the man that they place on their boxes becomes known for an activity unhealthy for your body, it creates a conflict of interest. I’m all for fun just as much as the next person, but Phelps needs to be more careful about who he commits these devious acts in front of, knowing that he could very well face severe consequences affecting his Olympic career.

Brown faces even more career consequences, and rightfully so. I’d have to say that the image of a wife-beater (and let’s face it, that’s the image he gives off when people believe that he has abused his significant other) does not fare well with any advertising campaign. Who wants to buy gum from a company that supports domestic abuse? And as far as the radio station’s decision to drop his songs, they are facing the potential loss of faithful listeners. It’s a smart business move and simply that.


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