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Phelps’ Wallet More Important Than Your Life?

by: JamieD On  Monday, March 2, 2009
Tags:  Kellogg's   Michael Phelps   Olympics   Phelps   Pop-Tart   Pot  

Total Pro Sports-  Put a deadly product on supermarket shelves, no biggie.  Drop pot smoking Michael Phelps from your company and you are bond to suffer the consequences.

That’s what Kelloggs is finding out.  According to Vanno, an online “social evaluation” community, they experienced a significant drop after letting the 2008 Olympic Star go, much more so than when they announced their recall of peanut-butter related products.  The drop after announcing the recalls was from number 9 to 16.  After firing Phelps they went down to # 68 on the list.  They currently sit in the #83 position.  About the move, Vanno blogger NickD had the following to say:

“Kellogg stories at Vanno, starting during our six-month private beta and continuing through our public launch in November 2008, were very positive, mostly citing credible third-party sources,” he wrote, adding the peanut-butter recalls seemed to have a very moderate effect. “But Kellogg dropping Michael Phelps, and the subsequent focus on the moral/nutritional equivalency of pot and Pop-Tarts, drew more negative attention and passion from users, and the belief base took a much bigger hit, dropping Kellogg to No. 16 and then to No. 68.” [Adage]

Vanno makes their rankings based on indexes on 5500 companies compiled using gossip, news, opinion and personal insight about them based on their reputation.  These are submitted by users and then each company is given a number ranking.

With great snacks for those who have the munchies, Kelloggs should have known they would be offending many by turning against the pothead.  A better alternative may have been to incorporate Phelp’s extra-curricular activities into advertising.  Perhaps a stoned Phelps on the cover of the next Pop-Tart box?




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