Is Gillette out of the Woods?

Just when you thought it was safe to get back in the shaving water….

Close shave for Gillette's PR team

Those poor guys at Gillette. You sign up three of the world’s most outstanding sportsmen in response to replacing Golden Balls Beckham. You feel pretty confident. They are genuinely the outstanding players of their generation, they are all charming, clean-cut chaps with a loyal following and their own successful brands. It can only get better for us all guys – break out the balm, it’s going to be a smooth ride.

And then the hurricane hit. I discussed the Henry problem last week and just as I didn’t get involved in that futile debate I will offer no opinion on the rights and wrongs of Tiger’s actions. Nothing has been proved, nothing has been admitted.

What is undeniable is that once again there is trouble concerning associating your brand with celebrities, or with anyone for that matter. People make mistakes. No matter how clean their image when they signed the contract you never know what is around the corner. Even false allegations can damage your brand. I cannot fault Gillette for hiring the three amigos. They were the perfect match and to be honest, I’m not sure that the indiscretions of Mr Henry and Mr Woods will do long-term damage.

Why? Simple. They were hired because they were the best. They still are the best, although Henry’s form may have stalled of late at Barcelona compared to the halcyon Arsenal days and they will remain at the top of their games for some time yet. Henry, like it or not, will be at the World Cup, Tiger will still be world number one and with Rafa Nadal still struggling for form, who would bet against Federer at the US Open?

Sure things are not so smooth as they were before but the audience Gillette seeks to influence is primarily concerned with the skills of these super sportsmen, their image is secondary. Whisper it quietly but there will also be a small conclave that finds Tiger Woods MORE appealing as either a rogue or at least a human being compared to his somewhat robotic persona of the last decade.

Tiger with Ellen
Before the incident - believe it or not!

The Press For Attention Prescription

Tiger would have been better served by coming out and making a statement to the media immediately. Instead, he sat back, probably worried about saying or doing the wrong thing. The resultant vacuum of silence was then filled by a voracious media, determined to get their pound of flesh and now the leeches are forming on the underbelly of the popular press, feeding their faces at the banquet before the platters are removed.

Phew, had to get that off my chest. No need to fuel the fire of the greedy, self-obsessed shameless characters currently crawling out of the “Woods-work” (sorry, couldn’t resist).

In the meantime and on a lighter note, if I was Mr Federer I’d be looking to open contract negotiations now. He holds all the aces – once again.