just the facts – Celebrity endorsements gone wrong

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US soft drinks maker PepsiCo this week dropped Tiger Woods as a sponsor for its Gatorade sports drink, claiming it “no longer sees a role” for Woods in its marketing efforts. Here just-drinks takes a look at other celebrity sponsorship deals that have come to a sudden end.

1.    US singer Chris Brown was dropped from a Government “Got Milk” campaign in the US early last year. While he initially appeared to be the perfect celebrity to wear the milk moustache for the squeaky-clean ad campaign, his arrest for beating girlfriend Rihanna got the Milk Board jumping ship.

2.    Jason Giambi was one of the US major league baseball players who got embroiled in the 2003 BALCO steroid scandal. Giambi admitted and publicly apologized for taking steroids but still lost lucrative deals, valued at around $3m annually, with Nike, deodorant brand Arm & Hammer, and soft drink giant Pepsi after coming clean about his steroid use.

3.    In 1988 Anheuser-Busch anchored its Michelob campaign with Eric Clapton's remake of "After Midnight" only to have the rock star tell Rolling Stone that he was battling alcoholism when he made the commercial and was in a detox facility by the time it came out.

4.    In 2003 LA Lakers basketball star Kobe Bryant was arrested in connection with an investigation of a sexual assault complaint filed by 19-year old hotel employee Katelyn Faber. The accusation tarnished Bryant's reputation, as the public's perception of him plummeted, putting his endorsement contracts with Sprite, McDonald's and Nutella on hold. He has since resumed endorsement deals with The Coca-Cola Company, through it subsidiary Energy Brands to promote the firm’s Vitamin Water brand of drinks.

5.    In 1989 PepsiCo signed Madonna to a $5m contract for its soft drink but cancelled the deal when she released her controversial video for "Like a Prayer." The firm said at the time: “When you’ve got an ad that confuses people or concerns people, it just makes sense that that ad goes away.” Pepsi also dropped its planned sponsorship of Madonna’s world tour, although some Madonna Pepsi cans had already been printed. Madonna, however, retained her entire $5m payment even though her contract had called for three more Pepsi commercials.

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