What are the worst celebrity endorsements?
June 15, 2010 9:30 AM   Subscribe

Find me some horrible, unsolicited celebrity endorsements.

I'm trying to make a list of the worst celebrity endorsements I can, not including official ad campaigns or planned endorsements. The first two I can think of are Karla Homolka plugging Tim Horton's iced cappuccino in an interview and Phil Spector wearing an Obama pin during his murder hearing.

I'd be very interested in examples not involving criminals and would particularly like press releases issued by companies distancing themselves from the endorsements.

Thanks.
posted by ODiV to Society & Culture (24 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
I think a lot about all the musicians whose songs have been used by Republicans and have complained about it. I'm not sure that's the direction you're looking for.
posted by jessamyn at 9:33 AM on June 15, 2010


Professional troll Boyd Rice plugged Current 93 as a "proud racialist" band in an interview with Aryan Nations founder Tom Metzger.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:40 AM on June 15, 2010


Gotta go with the Jim Jones cult and Kool-Aid.

Kool-Aid PR must have tried to combat that, and also the resulting idiom "drinking the Kool-Aid" to mean "buying into the ideas of a maniacal cult leader."

Too lazy to research this myself, but surely that company had to address that somehow.
posted by Philemon at 9:45 AM on June 15, 2010


FWIW, they didn't even drink Kool-Aid at Jonestown. They drank Flavor-Aid.
posted by Sticherbeast at 9:47 AM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]




Not a a very usable answer, but Tom Scharpling recently asked this same question to listeners to The Best Show on WFMU (March 23, 2010). I can't remember any specifics, but there were some doozies.
posted by activitystory at 9:57 AM on June 15, 2010


Best answer: ha, even worse for Kool-Aid. Anyway, though, not a great example, since it's basically a criminal one.

Here's one about the Olive Garden distancing itself from an unprompted endorsement by one of Hugh Hefner's live-in girlfriends: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/news/2008/aug/13/playboy-models-endorsements-tarnish-olive-image/

The article goes on to mention, without much detail, the problem faced by designer labels who have to consider PR when controversial music acts (read: rappers) adopt their brand.
posted by Philemon at 9:59 AM on June 15, 2010 [1 favorite]


Best answer: designer labels who have to consider PR when controversial music acts (read: rappers) adopt their brand.

The cranky old CEO of Cristal got very angry about rappers name-checking his product. Jay-Z responded by switching to another brand, I think.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:22 AM on June 15, 2010


Justice John Paul Stevens wrote a letter on his letterhead to columnist Dave Berry professing the efficacy of Beano.
posted by jgirl at 10:25 AM on June 15, 2010 [2 favorites]


As an aside, I always wondered about the running joke on "Married with Children" about Al's Dodge being the worst car in the world, and if it pissed anyone at Dodge off. I think at one point Dodge actually got in on the act though, and there was an episode where he got a shiny new one.

(And I guess Al Bundy is not a real-life celebrity anyway.)
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:27 AM on June 15, 2010


Both Clyde Barrow (snopes lists this as "undetermined") and John Dillinger wrote testimonials to Ford.
posted by adamrice at 10:42 AM on June 15, 2010


Bart: Why are we all dressed up? Are we going to Black Angus?

Marge: [anticipating The Rapture] Well, you could say we're going to the best steakhouse in the whole universe.

Bart: [puzzled] So we're not going to Black Angus.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:58 AM on June 15, 2010


Ghostface Killah, a.k.a. Pretty Toney: "The best soap from the heavens above, nigga. That's Dove."
posted by Joe Beese at 12:00 PM on June 15, 2010


"I heartily endorse this product or service." - Krusty the Klown
posted by neuron at 12:17 PM on June 15, 2010


Justice John Paul Stevens wrote a letter on his letterhead to columnist Dave Berry professing the efficacy of Beano.

That, sir, is bananas
posted by munchingzombie at 12:37 PM on June 15, 2010


I've gotta say Mark Sanford defending Nikki Haley.
posted by zoinks at 12:58 PM on June 15, 2010


I've gotta say Mark Sanford defending Nikki Haley.

In that vein: Woody Allen defending Roman Polanski.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:58 PM on June 15, 2010


The BNP (far right British political party) using Marmite in a broadcast.
posted by Laura_J at 1:40 PM on June 15, 2010


Insane Clown Posse and Faygo?
posted by orme at 2:16 PM on June 15, 2010


Best answer: There was the whole Cristal tossup after the managing director implied a distaste for the champagne's association with hip-hop culture.
posted by griphus at 3:36 PM on June 15, 2010


Ah, shit, drjimmy11 beat me to it.
posted by griphus at 3:37 PM on June 15, 2010


Best answer: Not really a celebrity endorsement issue, but more of the "brand degradation" that Cristal and others have complained of:

Burberry versus the Chavs.
posted by holterbarbour at 6:11 PM on June 15, 2010


I think that Jon Gosselin and his endless supply of Ed Hardy attire should qualify, but Ed Hardy is terrible enough to deserve it. Plus they seem to have embraced the idea of idiot pseudo-celebs modelling their wares.
posted by dnesan at 8:16 AM on June 16, 2010


Response by poster: jessamyn: That's kind of the opposite of what I'm asking here, but just as interesting, thanks.

The Olive Garden, Crystal and Burberry examples are pretty much exactly what I'm looking for. The Olive Garden / Playboy Bunny one even includes what looks like a fake promo shot. I'll google the others mentioned in the thread as I don't know much about them.
posted by ODiV at 3:45 PM on June 16, 2010


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