I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during the “Dump him or don’t dump him” debates held at Michel Phelps’ sponsoring companies such as Kellogg’s, Visa, Speedo, Omega watches, etc.
From reading the news stories, blogs and opinion sites such as www.vanno.com, it sounds as though Kellogg’s is the only one getting backlash (even more so than the man himself)—and they are the only sponsoring compnay to dump the marijuana-inhaling Olympic swimmer as their spokesperson. Bit of a surprise for some, I’m sure.
Kellogg’s leaned toward the conservative side and made the decision to separate themselves from poster boy Michael Phelps, thus taking the “law-abiding” route and toeing the line on right versus wrong in hopes that it would improve their reputation among cereal-buying parents. However; it’s been interesting to read the commentaries taking the opposite viewpoint like the ones that are pointing out the lost marketing opportunity with those munchies-lovers who might normally have grabbed a box of Frosted Flakes might now put a little boycott thought into their purchases and go for the General Mills Trix instead. There’s also the large audience of Phelps fans who think a “minor” infraction does not justify a dumping of such a big Olympic hero and have stated that their opinion of Kellogg’s reputation has gone south because of the decision to end the sponsorship deal. That old saying, “You can’t please everyone all the time.” has never been more true, right Kellogg’s? But, now that the decision is made and announced and some backlash is being heard, what do you do next? Whatever it is, don’t spin it, just state the facts and reasons that lead you to this decision and stick to your guns.