I think it’s now safe to say that golfer Tiger Woods didn’t get the recent cuts on his face from using the Gillette Fusion razors his so proudly endorses. If he did, then he should think twice about continuing his association with the company and the use of their product; although I think it is Gillette rethinking its next step in their use of sport stars for the long-term in product endorsement. Associated Press reported on the 3rd of December that Gillette had no plans to change its marketing programmes, however CEO of Burns Entertainment and Sports Marketing, Bob Williams stated, Unfortunately for Tiger, the situation is not over. The linchpin will be when he addresses the public for the first time, adding that will help companies determine how they feel about him. It remains to be seen if that will be through the social media or at all. Judging by Woods’ lack of communication through his social media networks, it will probably be in another well packaged message on his personal website, which as we have seen isn’t helping his reputation instead rather fueling the fire for his critics.
Michael Gordon, CEO of Group Gordon Strategic Communications in New York, stated The language in the statement is perfect, but he needs to come out and humanise it and say those words and answer a handful of tough questions on the subject. The more he avoids direct media contact, he creates more scrutiny of the situation. Gordon continued, Sponsors are going to listen to the people who buy their products. If he handles it well, and he still has the opportunity to do that, he can put this to bed. Currently, the way he’s handling it is failing.
To compound matters further for Gillette, a second of their three musketeers currently endorsing their product, footballing god, Thierry Henry is embroiled in a cheating incident which ensured France qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa next summer at the expense of the Republic of Ireland. Henry is facing sanctions from world football governing body FIFA as a result.
Henry, along with Woods, is another example of mis-management of social media with his recent comment’s on Twitter viewed by many as not too heart-felt with a meek apology after the fact. Henry’s Twitter account has since been suspended after he tweeted: im not the referee… but if i hurt some one im sorry. He hasn’t received too much sympathy from the Irish public as well as others in favour of fair play, which has led to the temporary shutting down of one of his social media outlets. The incident has meant that several fake Facebook accounts have been created largely slaughtering Henry after his antics against Ireland – a grand example of social media’s power to galvanise criticism when a sporting idol makes a real balls-up.
It only needs tennis ace Roger Federer to add to Gillette Fusion’s duo of woe by mowing an old granny down at a zebra crossing, or being caught sleeping with a lady of the night….something along those lines anyway. The New Zeland Herald is already calling it the The curse of Gillette. The company has already parted ways with megastar David Beckham – so it’s not unforseeable that the same fait could be dealt to both Woods and Henry. Bloggers reacting to an article in the Scotsman reckon Henry should be dropped like a stone. Watch this space…….