Tiger in the Tank
The next day, Accenture released the following statement:
Given the circumstances of the last two weeks, after careful consideration and analysis, the company has determined that he is no longer the right representative for its advertising.
"No longer the right representative for its advertising ..." That’s devastating!
On Dec. 17, The New York Times ran Brian Stelter’s front-page story, "Accenture, as if Tiger Woods Were Never There." It described in detail how the company is turning Tiger Woods into a nonperson—expunging every trace of the world’s greatest athlete internally and externally and trying to move on.
Why the Total Collapse?
In The Wall Street Journal of Dec. 8, Reed Albergotti profiled Mark Steinberg of IMG, an agency in Cleveland and Woods’ manager for the past 12 years. Steinberg, 42, is a graduate of the University of Illinois Law School. Two key paragraphs:
He hired Mark NeJame, the most prominent criminal-defense attorney in the Orlando area, to handle Mr. Woods's defense [in the matter of the car wreck], which has resulted in a $164 ticket.
According to people familiar with the situation, Mr. Woods's camp also has retained Lavely & Singer, a Los Angeles law firm known for representing Hollywood stars. One person says the firm is working on a deal that would pay Rachel Uchitel, a woman who has been alleged in published reports to have had an affair with Mr. Woods, in exchange for not talking to the media. Representatives from Lavely & Singer, Ms. Uchitel and Mr. Woods declined to comment.
This is a case of a lawyer hiring lawyers to contain a story including the possible payment of hush money. Just as it’s folly to allow bean counters to make marketing decisions, the same principle applies to lawyers directing a PR crisis.