Dec
11
2009
Apparently the Sponsor Revolt Begins
By Stephanie Wei under General

Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer has taken down all in-store Tiger Woods advertisements from its Australian stores and and they’re considering de-Tigering all their stores. But like Gatorade, the company claims the move has nothing to do with the firestorm of speculation surrounding Tiger. Philip Richards, TAG Heuer’s general manager, comments: “We change our campaigns probably four or five times per annum.” He adds that the “golf focus” campaigns have “run their course” for the time being — which makes complete sense given that it’s prime time season for Australia’s PGA Tour.

FoxNews is reporting that three of Tiger’s sponsors — Gillette, Pepsi, and Procter & Gamble — are in meetings Friday to mull over whether or not his behavior off the course breached the terms of his kajillion-dollar contracts.

And, now, Accenture has removed the campaign designed around Tiger from their homepage. According to Bloomberg, links to Tiger-related info on the company’s site are also “page requested can not be found”-ing. The ad experts say Accenture had the most to lose from Tiger’s current public image problem:

The publicity surrounding Woods may taint Accenture’s brand more than other sponsors because the company’s ads tie him so closely to its values, according to David Martin, president of Interbrand Corp.’s New York division.

“Tiger’s qualities, his qualities they’re using as a metaphor for their qualities,” said Martin, who leads the company’s golf branding practice. “They’re in a more precarious position than anybody else.”

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Update: From Darren Rovell’s Twitter: “AT&T: ‘We support Tiger’s decision and our thoughts will be with him and his family. We are presently evaluating our ongoing relationship.’”