Everyone has been reading about the extracurricular activities of Tiger Woods lately, one of his advertisers has pulled a product line with his name on it, others have stopped all current advertising campaigns with Tiger Woods. If they were to use Tiger Woods in their current advertising, does that mean that they support or approve/endorse of his conduct? If they continue on sponsoring him, does that mean that they pretend that it never happened?
In the end, in my opinion, this will blow over and this will be forgotten. Tiger Woods may be the greatest golfer of all times. As long as he will eventually be able to go back to the golf circuit and continue winning, he will continue to draw crowds. In reality, are the golf fanatics really concerned about his indiscretions of his personal life. Up until recently, no one knew very much about his personal life. He kept that very private and we now know why. If his personal life did not matter before, will it matter in the future? Yes, it will come out that there are many people involved, yes, that will affect his ability to be a public figure in the short term but eventually, this will all be available for the public to scrutinize, then what. The public will go back to admire his golf talents and will not care about his personal life again.
If you look at many public figures, they seem to bounce back. Bill Clinton is a perfect example. He now is a drawing crowd and can charge huge fees for his public speaking. Does anyone attend those events and say I want to see the person who forgot about Monica? His indiscretions have blown over.
If you advertise and use a public figure who has been tainted, do you interrupt the contract, if that is possible and wait until things blow over in a year and then continue to use him? Do you stay with him now but if you want to portray a homely image and now you are promoting a promiscuous person, what does that imply with the product you are trying to advertise? Does that mean that you are no longer marketing a family product? I believe that advertisers will take a break for a while and not associate their product with his current image but when this blows over and everyone looks at his achievements and his ability to continue playing – he will still draw crowds at the golf courses and as a result, people are willing to pay to see him which means associating products that he endorses when he recovers will continue. There may be a few bumps in the road over the next 12 months but this will be soon forgotten. Everyone is curious to find out about the entire situation and how large is this scandal but once they find out about everything, the topic will be no longer on the daily news.
Does this mean that if you have a person endorsing your product and a fiasco is uncovered, is it better to be silent and not come forward to admit what he has done is wrong or is Tiger Woods negotiating with his sponsors to preserve his cash flow and then getting them to agree to an approach for the future? In the end, this is a world about money, how much are the ladies going to make to talk or not talk, how many sponsors will Tiger be able to keep in the short and long run and is the image of the advertisers preserved. Once these are all resolved, I am guessing the rest will be disclosed.