February 2, 2009, - 1:02 pm

The End of “Just Say No”: Sponsors Stand by Pot -Smoker Phelps

By Debbie Schlussel
It used to be that companies actually cared about the morals clauses in their endorsement deals with pro athletes and enforced them. But, sadly, we’re in a new era: the end of “Just Say No to Drugs.”
Michael Phelps’ corporate endorsers are standing by their famous illegal drug user, including companies like Speedo, which send a message of fitness and good health to consumers of their product. I guess fitness and good health now includes a little weed toking. Way to go, Speedo.

At least one marketing expert doesn’t expect Phelps’ popularity to suffer.
“I think consumers and marketers will cut him some slack because it’s ‘only’ marijuana, something that it seems like other professional athletes get arrested for every five minutes – not that that condones it,” said Bob Dorfman, executive creative director at Baker Street Partners in San Francisco and author of The Sports Marketers’ Scouting Report.

phelpsbong.jpg

Official Health Mechanism of the U.S. Olympic Swim Team

Twenty years from now they’ll be saying, “Cut him some slack because it’s ‘only’ coke or crack.”

Speedo, which has sponsored Phelps, 23, since he was 15 and paid him a $1 million bonus for his record eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics, released a statement Sunday calling Phelps “a valued member of the Speedo team and a great champion.”
The U.S. Olympic Committee said it was “disappointed” in Phelps. “Michael is a role model,” the USOC said in a statement, “and he is well aware of the responsibilities and accountability that come with setting a positive example for others. In this instance, regrettably, he failed to fulfill those responsibilities.”
Phelps’ eight golds set him up to earn millions in endorsements. “I can’t see any marketers dropping him,” Dorfman said.

That’s sad. I’d admire a company that said, “We’re dumping Michael Phelps because we think he sends a bad message to kids.”
But, like I said, the era of “Just Say No to Drugs” is apparently over.
Capitalism without limits means companies with no morals unless we–the consumers in the marketplace–force them into morality. And we’ve been very lazy in that category. That’s why we’re at this point.
Here’s the list of Michael Phelps’ sponsors:
* Speedo
* Visa
* Omega (watches)
* Subway (Is that really oregano sprinkled on that sub?)
* Kellogg’s (I guess you eat more of this after pot-smoking, so it’s a good partnership.)
* PureSport
* 505 Games
* Mazda (in China only–I wonder if this will stick, since the Chi-Coms are far tougher on illegal drug use.)

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21 Responses

Don’t forget he already has a DUI on his record.
If this is “ok”, why are steroids such a bad thing?
How stupid can this guy to be to put himself into that position? Body of a superhuman, mind of a child.

Jeff_W on February 2, 2009 at 1:32 pm

Keep in mind President Huessein is an admited cocaine user.

PrincessKaren on February 2, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Barry Huessein Obamma writes:
“I had learned not to care. I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years. Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it.”

PrincessKaren on February 2, 2009 at 2:09 pm

There may be one other difference between today and the bygone times when morals were enforced. In the old days, market executives, themselves had better morals, didn’t get high on cocaine, and lived relatively moral lives.
Today, the execs are probably as bad as the athletes; they’re not going to attack athletes who are just doing the same things they do themselves. Maybe they were smoking joints together when they signed their contracts (or doing worse).

c f on February 2, 2009 at 2:37 pm

Yeah, it’s not like there’s an entire TV series revolving around the exact opposite point you’re making regarding advertising executives or anything.

stormhit on February 2, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Having been involved with the Olympic thing,and a lot of these sports figures you would be surprised, or not they look the other way on the ones that make them money. Follow the money trail.
Everything that glitters is not gold !
We have a Crack Head,illegal alien as President,signing executive orders that are illegal and he should be impeached,you forgot about Billy Clinton and his coke habit,with drug dealing brother Roger, so why does it surprise you that this person is doing drugs and getting away with it?

Johnny V on February 2, 2009 at 3:26 pm

He also does spots for that overpriced language software “Rosetta Stone”

MarySJ on February 2, 2009 at 3:26 pm

The president once used “a little cocaine”. So there is an example. From people I know anyone who says they used “a little coke” is a liar, then again…What is a litlle?

Infidel One on February 2, 2009 at 4:34 pm

“That’s sad. I’d admire a company that said, “We’re dumping Michael Phelps because we think he sends a bad message to kids.”
I’m curious. Did you support Rush Limbaugh’s being retained after his illegal drug incident – an incident invilving a MUCH more powerful and harmful drug than marijuana?
I wonder if you feel the same way about celebrities and company spokespersons who tie a good drunk on regularly!
Marijuana laws do NOT reflect conservative values and for someone to wish ill on a talented individual who is the best at what he does simply because he catches a buzz once in a while is indicative of a small mind.
I’d be willing to bet, Debbie, that you’ve even had a laugh at Jessica Simpson’s weight-gain like so many profane self-promoters out here in the blogosphere!
[LL: RUSH DIDN’T GO OUT AND SEEK DRUGS. HE GOT ADDICTED TO THEM AFTER A DOCTOR LEGALLY PRESCRIBED THEM FOR HIM AFTER BACK SURGERY. THERE’S A BIG DIFFERENCE B/W PEOPLE WHO SEEK OUT DRUGS AND THOSE WHO GET ADDICTED AFTER PAINFUL SURGERY. AS FOR JESSICA SIMPSON, I REALLY DON’T CARE HOW MUCH SHE WEIGHS. BUT SINCE SHE’S MARKETED HERSELF AS A SEX KITTEN–AND HAS LITTLE SINGING AND ZERO ACTING TALENT, WHEN SHE GAINS WEIGHT, HER WHOLE ACT (HER BODY) IS UP IN SMOKE. AND IT’S YOUR MAN, BARACK OBAMA, NOT ME, WHO HAD A GOOD LAUGH OVER SIMPSON’S WEIGHT GAIN IN HIS INTERVIEW WITH MATT LAUER. DS]

LiberalLoather on February 2, 2009 at 4:44 pm

Apart from being a world champion in inhaling drugs, don’t you think that this Michael Phelps is ugly?
Look at his mouth, eyes and face.
I had nightmares first time I saw him.
He should’ve done something useful instead of wasting time and health on drugs, like…having a plastic surgery!!

Independent Conservative on February 2, 2009 at 4:49 pm

The “end of ‘just say no'” and “zero tolerance” was the Clarence Thomas nomination where President Bush forgave Thomas when it became known that he had smoked pot.
I’m also still waiting for Rush Limbaugh to tell me what “zero tolerance” means.

There is NO Santa Claus on February 2, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Obamaís Brother Gets Busted
arack Obamaís brother George Obama, the one who lives in a hut in Kenya, has gotten himself into a bit of trouble. George Obama was arrested by Kenyan police on charges of marijuana possession.
He was also accused by Kenyan police of resisting arrest. He is scheduled to appear in court on Monday. CNN talked with George in jail, and the presidentís brother denied the charges. Area police chief Joshua Omokulongolo said George Obama was picked up Saturday and was being held at the Huruma police post in the capital. Omokulongolo said officers found one joint of marijuana on him.
Barack and George Obama share the same father, who died in a car accident when George was six years old. The brothers met only once, a meeting in which the president described in his book, ìDreams Of My Father,î as a ìpainful affair.î Painful because Barry was afraid George wouldnít stay hidden while Barry pursued his political ascent. Reporters found George Obama last year living in a Kenyan slum with his motherís extended family.
George is just trying to get toasty in his hut, and forget that his brother is arguably the most powerful man in the world! He now has the scrutiny of fame with none of the perks. The world must look pretty strange to George from where he sits.

Johnny V on February 2, 2009 at 10:05 pm

http://www.xanga.com/EminemsRevenge/691034019/reefer-madnessagain–wtf/
That’s for BLEECHERS and the rest of you retards:)

EminemsRevenge on February 2, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Who is the biggest asshole?
Michael Phelps for smoking pot?
The person who took a picture of him smoking pot and selling to the media?
The “News Of The World” for running the picture?
Media editorialists who condemn Michael Phelps for setting a bad example?

James Scearce on February 2, 2009 at 10:36 pm

I know so many people who use drugs recreationally. More than I ever thought. Some have stayed friends others I have ended friendship. Every case is different. Usually you think of a junkie as someone down and out and close to homeless. I have seen people turn into tweakers, so sad. However, they know what they get into, they know the warnings. I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite but I drink and it too is a mind altering substance. Nothing else. More people get ruined over alcohol than marijuana.
As for Phelps he seems to have a private life where he probably gets attention like football players. Groupies and everyone wanting some of his money. Still he is responsible for actions and the corporations should do what they feel is necessary to him. I personally would cut the amount of his endorsements or consider dropping him altogether. Corporations have different role in our society. Gaining support from your friends is different than gaining support from public opinion.
Look what just happened to Charles Barkley, he got suspended for his DUI.
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=3821676
I am not big on taking away liberties for the children sake? I am always suspicious. We can no longer drink on our beaches in San Diego because “Beaches are for Children”. “And we cant be against children can we?” Fascism will come wrapped in a pair of pampers.
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2008/11/04/politics/p142746S95.DTL&hw=alcoholics&sn=025&sc=515

californiascreaming on February 2, 2009 at 11:56 pm

“[LL: RUSH DIDN’T GO OUT AND SEEK DRUGS. HE GOT ADDICTED TO THEM AFTER A DOCTOR LEGALLY PRESCRIBED THEM FOR HIM AFTER BACK SURGERY. – Debbie
It’s noble of you to push that line but…he knew it wasn’t right, he knew it was illegal, and he knew it was doing noone any harm but himself.
So, again I’ll ask…would you apply the same standards to those who go out a seek a 750ml bottle of Jack Daniels for a night of fun then step out to represent some organization?
Alcohol is responsible for Many, many more deaths and family break-ups than pot, you know.
“My man, Barack Obama”?!?!?
You should have clicked over to my blog before writing that! LOL! That’s almost too funny!
So, Jessica Simpson decides to live it up a bit and munch-out, gains a few pounds and she is no longer qualified as a “sex-kitten”?
Millions of men nationwide would disagree, I’m afraid.
Isn’t that attitude a bit sexist?

LiberalLoather on February 3, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Sorry, Debbie, wrong blog. This is my political blog

LiberalLoather on February 3, 2009 at 12:52 pm

Debbie: what was the name of the Reagan-nominated Supreme Court candidate who withdrew his name because he admitted to smoking marijuana in his younger days? My, how times have changed.
Jessica Simpson illustrates just how fed up I am becoming of the pop world. The fashion world has perpetuated this myth that a woman can’t possibly be sexy unless she’s a size 0. Well, I don’t see a problem with a woman with a little meat on her bones. Sorry, but starvation doesn’t bring sexiness.

richardzowie on February 4, 2009 at 8:11 am

I’m not going to excuse what Phelps did.But for every one Michael Phelps doing the bong, there’s 100 Black athletes( Especially, in the NFL ) doing harder,nastier drugs, and far worse,uncivilized,social behaviors – assault,robbery,guns,every form of sexual sleaziness,even murder, but the press,as it has for the last 40+ years, ignores 99% of them,simply because they’re Black,for every form of Political Correctness, otherwise, black racist cowards/crybabies would screech and tantrum like spoiled brats, screaming it’s racist to report it.
Phelps is guilty for this, and for his drunken behavior a couple years ago. But it doesn’t even begin to compare to the Michael Irvins,and everyone knows it. Or do they?

OldSchoolW on February 4, 2009 at 11:32 am

I have no problem with him smoking that weed. He uses this to relax. Why is booze considered acceptable and weed not? and tobbacco too.
Booze is more harmful.
Just because most government do not have the sense to change the crazy laws, why should he drink booze and smoke tobbacco?

Adam on February 5, 2009 at 11:46 am

Before I learned that there was a MORALS CLAUSE in the contracts, I thought that he should be ‘forgiven’. However, he’s just another unfortunate example of a kid not being able to handle the responsibility of being a world class hero. Hooray for Kellogg for dropping him this month. They definitely did the right thing, both for all the kids who look up to him, and will now see the picture and know about the scandal, and for Phelps himself who needs to lead morally. I wonder what Ann Coulter would say about this kid raised by a single mother…. of course it wasn’t her choice, and he has had male coaches, but maybe that would have made a difference.

ubi revera on February 5, 2009 at 11:47 pm

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