The recent scandals surrounding Tiger Woods, the first billion-dollar athlete and -- up until recently -- an absolutely flawless and bankable pitchman for quite a few global manufacturers (P&G, has illuminated the down side to tying your brand to a celebrity.
I actually thought that the statement released was an inventive way to deliver a pretty harsh message:
"As Tiger takes a break from the public eye, we will support his desire for privacy by limiting his role in our marketing programs," said Gillette, a division of Procter & Gamble.
Gillette's decision includes phasing out Woods from its television and print advertising, and from public appearances and other efforts linking Woods to the grooming company, Gillette spokesman Damon Jones said.
"This is supporting his desire to step out of the public eye and we're going to support him by helping him to take a lower profile," he said.
Gillette, which operates from Boston while parent P&G is based in Cincinnati, has had a contract with Woods since 2007. Jones declined to provide further details, including length and value, of the contract.
It does makes one wonder what kind of due diligence gets done in advance of such large contracts, as well as what is actually written in that contract, as far as penalties for bad pitchman behavior. Are there any? Or do P&G, Nike, PepsiCo etc. have to keep paying millions of dollars despite their newfound desire to respect Tiger's privacy?