Tiger Woods in the hot seat!

clip_image001As you probably heard last weekend, Tiger Woods was involved in a minor car crash last week. Because he is a public figure, many rumors have been circulating stipulating on the circumstances of the event.

Was he cheating on his wife? Was his wife furiously violent with a golf club? Will there be criminal charges? Etc.

M. Woods has requested privacy and respect from the public towards himself and his family. All of the above is understandable for ordinary people…but not for Tiger Woods.

When Nike pays millions of dollars per year for his endorsement, to what extent do his actions become a public affair? His career and athletic talent is at the source of the public’s interest. However, the public has grown fond and envious of his success.  It is only in human’s nature to be curious when an event like last week’s happens to some so popular.

There are a lot of rumors going around, most of them false, some of them probably pretty damn close to the truth… Whether they are true or false, or whether it is our business or not… people will talk.  Gossip magazine will see an opportunity to make money, Entertainment properties will feed off of the story until no one cares any more…it other words, a sponsors worst nightmare : A SCANDAL!

Which brings me to reflect as an advertising specialist…What would I do if I were Nike, Tag Heuer, Gillette, Gatorade or any other company that uses Woods as a spokes person?

Would I wait until formal criminal accusations were made? Would I cancel any ongoing contracts to avoid the negative image?

Would I support Woods and his family to show a human, compassionate company behind the story? Would I pull any or all media support behind a campaign featuring Woods?

What do you think?