Celebrity Endorsement Fails!

Good old celebrity endorsement, one of the riskiest marketing strategies around. An entire brand’s reputation placed in the hands of an individual who (often) doesn’t care about the product or service he or she is endorsing.

When it works well, it’s off the scale. When it goes bad, the brand-building process goes in to reverse.

To celebrate the achievements of (the alleged drug cheat) Lance Armstrong, here’s a few celeb endorsement fails to brighten up your day - or give you nightmares if you’re deploying an endorsement strategy.

1) Kate Moss, H&M, Chanel and Burberry, 2005

Kate Moss was axed from various fashion lines after the Daily Mirror printed photos of the supermodel snorting cocaine in 2005. It was reported that the then 31 year old model had even done lines during the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund in Barcelona in 2002.

H&M cancelled ads and Chanel and Burberry also severed their ties with Moss after the tabloid ran photos of her snorting cocaine.

Moss didn’t suffer any long-term commercial damage. Quite the opposite in fact - she doubled her income over the next five years.

2) John Terry and Umbro, 2012

Umbro ended its long-running relationship with John Terry in Feb 2012. The sportswear brand announced its decision not to renew its deal with the former England captain following allegations he racially abused Anton Ferdinand during a match against Queens Park Rangers. It was not the first time the football player’s future with Umbro had come under scrutiny. In 2010 it was revealed that he had a four month affair with his then team-mate Wayne Bridge’s then-girlfriend Vanessa Perroncel, prompting speculation about his tie-up with the brand. Terry has been the face of Umbro since 2002 in a deal reportedly worth £4m, however on-going off-the-field transgressions meant the company felt the time was right to distance itself from the defender.

3) Anthea Turner and Grant Bovey for Cadbury's Snowflake, 2000

Brit TV presenter Anthea Turner was left reeling from a storm of negative publicity following her marriage to Grant Bovey in 2000. The fallout began when photographs of her wedding reception, published in the magazine OK! in an exclusive deal worth £450,000, showed the couple (apparently) using their wedding to publicise a new Cadbury chocolate bar, Snowflake.

OK! issued the photo to the media with the caption “Anthea Turner and Grant Bovey: exclusive OK! wedding photograph, enjoying Cadbury’s new Snowflake.

The Sun described it as “the most sickening wedding photo ever” while Turner, Bovey, Cadbury’s and OK! all denied that the chocolate was part of a sponsorship deal. Pictures of their wedding and their subsequent honeymoon were in the magazine for the next two weeks.

Turner and Bovey insist that someone had stuck the chocolate bar in her hand and snapped a picture before she knew what was happening.

4) Rihanna and Nivea, 2012

Stefan Heidenreich, the in-coming boss of skincare company Nivea, publicly blasted his marketing minions for recruiting Rihanna as the cosmetics firm's face for the company's 100th anniversary ads. He felt the singer was too raunchy for the family firm.

"I do not understand how to bring the core brand of Nivea in conjunction with Rihanna," he said. "Nivea is a company which stands for trust, family and reliability."

The R&B beauty took time out of celebrating Carnival in Barbados to let fans and Twitter followers know she had seen the CEO's comments. She posted a photo of Heidenreich on the microblogging site with the note: "No caption necessary."