Double Your Brand Exposure, Double Your Risk

It’s been a rough few weeks for celebrities and their endorsements.   First, pictures emerge of gold-medal Olympian Michael Phelps smoking marijuana from a bong at a party and Kelloggs follows suit by dropping his endorsement campaign.  Touche.  Now, Chris Brown, after being arrested for assaulting his girlfriend, pop-star Rhianna this past weekend (classy stuff, Brown, really) has had his Wrigley’s advertisement campaign suspended indefinitely.  You know the one – featuring Brown’s chart-topping hit “Forever” (essentially a wrip-off of the brand’s commercial jingle anyway, double your pleasure, double your profits). 

Everyone makes mistakes – some more forgivable than others.  (Though sending your girlfriend to the emergency isn’t really one of them).  Some might argue that if someone can win 14 Olympic gold medals, the things you ingest own your own time shouldn’t really be cause for concern.  (I don’t think anyone believes marijuana is a performance enhancing drug.  But that’s neither here nor there).   But whether the crime is petty or serious, the true problem here lies in the value celebrities place on their image and its ability to make them money.  Celebrity endorsements are heavily relied on by many companies to put their message into the hands of consumers, especially young impressionable ones.  It’s no wonder why a company would then panic and cancel all ties to a celeb when things in their personal life appear not-so picture perfect. 

Kelloggs doesn’t want to be associated with a drug-using lifestyle and Wrigley’s gum certainly doesn’t want to appear sympathetic to a perpetrator of domestic violence.  But it is the risk they take when pairing their brand with the brand of the rich and famous.  Their lives, chaotic and constantly under a magnifying spotlight are breeding grounds for scandal and misconduct. 

I’m not sure Wrigley’s will ever get out from under their partnership, however, as everyone will always remember that one infamous line, ringing in their ears of gum chewers and R&B fans alike. 

Posted by: Ashley / ashleyatcaster on Twitter

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