This is probably the least of Charles Barkley’s problems right now, but the telephone company T-Mobile has decided to pull all ads that feature the troubled analyst. Via Ad Age….
CHICAGO- T-Mobile has pulled its TV spots starring Charles Barkley following the basketball great’s drunken-driving arrest on New Year’s Eve.
In a statement, a T-Mobile spokesman noted that the campaign featuring Mr. Barkley has been successful, but “given the recent developments, for the time being, we’ve replaced TV ads featuring Mr. Barkley with more general-market advertising.” The spokesman added: “As he works through his personal matters, we will evaluate where to go from here.”
T-Mobile has primarily featured Mr. Barkley in ads promoting its “Fave 5″ program, in which calls to five designated individuals are free. One long-running storyline in the campaign involved Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade campaigning for a spot in Mr. Barkely’s “Five,” only to find himself endlessly harassed by Mr. Barkley once he made it.
The campaign has been integrated into TNT’s “Inside the NBA” broadcasts featuring Mr. Barkley in the form of basketball-related top-five lists read on air.
Seems like a knee-jerk move to me, but you do have to protect your brand at all times. If dropping Barkley is what T-Mobile felt they had to do, then you can’t really fault them for doing so.