I was just thinking about how everyone’s buggin Tiger about his stuff on the side, but nobody cared that the Beatles were doing all the same things (well, not the text messaging, I guess) with groupies. The Beatles are the rock-star equivalent of Tiger, right? A long sequence of #1’s, disciplined about work, and so on?
Then again, Lennon and McCartney didn’t do ads for AT&T, Gilette, Nike, Accenture (huh? what’s that, anyway?), Gatorade, or TLC Laser Eye Centers (or any eye centers, as far as I know). Maybe the standards are higher for people in advertising?
Felix Salmon mocks the above-linked study which claims evidence that Tiger Woods’s scandal hurt his sponsors financially, but what I really don’t understand, though, is how it can make sense for these companies to be paying a golfer to endorse their products. I mean, Golf Digest, sure, but the others? I’m gonna buy somebody’s razor because they paid a million dollars to some dude who can putt? I mean, sure, I understand the reasoning, sort of: Tiger gets attention, you see his face on TV and you whip around to see what the ad is about. If you’re a 30 billion dollar company, it can be worth spending $20 million if you think it will increase profits by 0.067%. But it still seems a bit weird to me. At the level of individual decisions, it makes some sense, but if you step back a bit, it’s just bizarre.
P.S. The Freaknomics blog links to a Yahoo News report of the study claiming that Tiger Woods’s sponsors lost money, but without linking to Felix Salmon’s demolition job. I assume that I’m not the only Freakonomics readers who reads Salmon, so maybe someone will point this out in the comments there.