Accenturate the Positive

In the annals of dumping damaged celebrity pitchmen, Accenture’s “noisy withdrawal” from Tiger Woods is looking to some commentators as unusually harsh, especially when contrasted with the gentle support of other sponsors such as Nike.  From our perspective, it looks like the brouhaha over Woods’ private life was the motivation Accenture needed to do something they should have done some time ago — get their brand back.  Noone questions the benefits Accenture derived from its relationship with one of the world’s most visible athletes, but the extent to which he had come to define the Accenture brand is truly remarkable.  According to TNS, reported in The New York Times, Tiger Woods appeared in 83 percent of  the firm’s advertising.  Arguably, a number of other scenarios — a career-damaging injury, a prolonged slump, would have been equally problematic for a brand wrapped around a golf swing.  The separation may look messy for now, but in the medium term it will give new creative energy to Accenture’s efforts to define its brand on its own terms.

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