If you’ve watched television the past 48 hours, it’s virtually physically impossible not to have seen a Wrangler commercial featuring Brett Favre.
(Must not be current with their New York periodicals)
With coverage coming from main media outlets and NFL reporters on the NFL’s investigation into alleged inappropriate text messages and voicemails sent by Favre to New York Jets employees, media junkies are seemingly perplexed that Wrangler may actually be increasing the number of Favre ads airing.
Today USA TODAY ran a poll on the subject accompanied with the following copy:
Kind of odd, isn’t it, that Brett Favre’s Wrangler commercial is still running?
… He also still has a presence on the home page of the jeans-maker’s website, despite the questions being asked about whether he crossed the line on sexual harassment.
If you were Wrangler, would you still be running the ad?
On the contrary, USA Today readers who voted in the poll haven’t found it odd that Favre’s Wrangler spot is still in heavy rotation, as 71% agreed with jeans maker’s call not to pull the ad.
A similar situation played out on sports business expert Darren Rovell’s CNBC blog today.
I spoke to a couple people yesterday who were surprised that Brett Favre’s Wrangler jeans spots were still running. Surprised that he was still on their Web site. They were surprised that Wrangler had no comment.
Well, I’m not.
If all this is true, is it a put off to his reputation? Sure it is. But you don’t have evidence of adultery and no crime was committed.
I’ve heard a lot of people comparing the Favre situation to how Tiger Woods was treated by the media and his sponsors following the sordid revelations about the golfer’s personal life.
Why, I’ve no clue because the situations couldn’t be more different.
With Tiger, we had an on-the-record account of his infidelity in the story that first broke the news of what turned out to be a series of affairs outside his marriage. After the initial Enquirer piece, we next had a car accident and hospital stay - which certainly would qualify as hard news and was covered by every main media outlet in existence.
Finally we had a woman come forward shortly thereafter with a voicemail in which Woods identified himself.
From the very beginning there were three newsworthy events that led to the massive news coverage of the implosion of Tiger’s personal life - and the subsequent dumping of his services by his sponsors.
With the Favre story, we have no on-the-record accounts from anyone on what exactly happened. We have a video of a sex organ accompanied by a voice that could belong to Favre but the site that posted the material, Deadspin.com, has reported that it has not verified that the person in the video is actually Favre. Deadspin also reported that it bought the material that it posted regarding Favre from a third party and not the person for which the material in question was intended.
Okay, but what do we have?
The NFL confirming an investigation into something without revealing what its trying to find out. And Favre refusing to publicly talk about the situation.
This isn’t to say that we won’t soon have some news about Favre on our hands, but in consideration of Wrangler execs, wake them when someone comes forward on the record to make an accusation of Favre and produces verifiable evidence that an inappropriate act took place on company time. Or the NFL suspends Favre and details his offenses.
Anonymous-sourced stories lacking indisputable evidence from the New York media and NFL reporters is a long, long drive from Tiger’s endorsement demise.