Athens, GA (Feb 8, 2009) - For those of you who missed the news, Kellogg's announced last week that they would not be renewing Michael Phelps endorsement contract. As Darren Rovell reported on February 5, 2009, Kellogg issued the following statement:
"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 a decision not to extend his contract."
But Rovell goes further to explain how these statements are mutually exclusive. Kellogg's had already decided not to renew the contract before the now infamous bong photo made the light of day. Rovell then took a step that might seem unusual for a network correspondent. He blasted Kellogg's in a February 6, 2009 blog posting:
With 25 days left in their contract, the folks at Kellogg's decided to make a statement to the media that they wouldn't be renewing Michael Phelps.
This statement didn't say anything about the fact that they likely wouldn't have renewed him anyway.
This statement was put forth because the folks at Kellogg's wanted to use the Phelps incident to speak of their values.
Well, I'm asking Kellogg's to put their money with their mouth is. If Phelps' actions are so deplorable, let's see it. Let's see you spend money to pay all those supermarkets to pull the boxes off the shelves. If Michael is that damaging your brand, find out how much is out there, and buy it all out.
Short of this, shame on you. You shouldn't have issued a statement and used your corporate power if you weren't really going to act on anything.
Of course, Rovell should not be the lone voice in his criticisism. Saturday Night Live did not let him be, with this Seth Myers Weekend News Update Commentary on Saturday's show:
Realistically, it looks like Kellogg's did more to hurt their own brand than Phelps did his. Only time will tell. but imagine thje fallout if they had found out if he was no longer the "master of his domain?"
Darren Rovell: Phelps' Kellogg Deal Won't Be Renewed
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