Posted by: Frederik Balfour on February 5, 2009
Who could forget the great skit on Saturday Night Live last summer where Michael Phelps [playing himself] consumes tens of thousands of calories for breakfast? Well, in real life it looks like Phelps will have an unfettered choice of cereals pretty soon. Kellogg has decided to drop its endorsement deal with the Olympic swimming champion after he was caught on camera smoking marijuana from a bong.
“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,” AdAge quoted Kellogg’s spokesman as saying. Last summer Kellogg pulled off what was considered a huge coup when it lured Phelps away from cereal rival General Mills Wheaties brand and put Phelps on Cornflakes and Frosted Flakes boxes.
For a rogue’s gallery of other celebrity slip ups by the likes of Madonna, Kate Moss and Kobe Bryant click here.
How many more of Phelps’ lucrative endorsement contracts will go up in smoke remains to be seen. He still has deals with VISA, Subway, Speedo, Mazda and Omega. Last month Phelps returned to Beijing to shoot advertisements for the joint-venture carmaker FAW Mazda in what was reportedly the biggest sum ever paid to a western celebrity in China earning him a seven figure amount—-that means he may have made nearly $10 million. No word yet when the campaign will begin. See more in a story by my colleague Chi-Chu Tschang here.