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Bong of Champions: Michael Phelps' Kellogg Deal Goes up in Smoke

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.

Reader Comments


February 6, 2009 1:17 AM

Ha! Very good. Kurt Vonnegut Junior wld love it.


February 6, 2009 3:05 AM

How ridiculous. Like those decision maker's never toked on anything before.

They probably snort coke off call girl's posterior's.


February 6, 2009 5:14 AM

You forgot to mention that he was busted for drunk driving in 2004. Ran a stop sign and could have killed someone. This probably played a part in the decision to drop the endorsement.


February 6, 2009 5:19 AM

Booo kellogg, phelps’ only a human! I’m glad he’s only a human!!!


February 6, 2009 6:37 AM

what wasn't reported was he got the munchies and was seen eating honey nut cheerios!

Jim H

February 9, 2009 3:43 PM

With half of the college-aged kids smoking dope (drastically reduced from the levels in the early 80's when Barak and I were in school), smoking bongs is "normal behavior".

It's time we reform the laws that govern marijuana use and focus on more important things.


February 13, 2009 11:34 AM

make marijuana legal and tax it

frederik balfour

February 16, 2009 5:23 AM

I took more than a week, but Michael Phelps has reached out to his Chinese fans in an apology for his "regrettable" behavior. Phelps clearly knows which side his bread is buttered on. Here is link to the Xinhua story carrying his apology:

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