During this past weekend's golf event in Thousand Oaks, Calif., the Chevron World Challenge -- an event Woods has hosted in the past -- NBC didn't run one ad featuring him.
Woods has been accused of not being an entirely good family man vis-à-vis more than a few suspected affairs - and he has admitted to "transgressions."
So TV sponsors do what they usually do -- what airline sponsors, for example, do when there is a major plane crash -- they pull ads.
To me this says what hasn't changed when it comes to the public's perception of major performers/athletes that are attached to specific products -- and what sponsors do in crisis public relations moments.
While a host of new digital opportunities and media buying opportunities seems on the verge of becoming reality for marketers, much work remains the same.
TV marketers will talk about a changing media and marketing world, and changing societal mores and tastes, but the default move goes back to what has worked in the past. Nobody likes a cheater, generally speaking.
In a new world of addressable advertising, all this might indeed change. Addressable advertising looks to hone in on who the TV viewer is and what they want, irrespective of general global tastes.
You have family problems? That's not my concern. I just want to watch some golf. Perhaps be persuaded to buy some golf clubs, a car, or perhaps a razor, along the way.
Those Cadillac, Gillette, or Gatorade ads featuring Woods might someday be quickly replaced with ads from those companies sans Woods - with another spokesperson, or for other products. Or, perhaps, they'll run as is, depending on wich viewer is watching.
David Verklin of Canoe Ventures, the cable industry-backed addressable advertising group, talks about sending dog advertising to TV viewers who own dogs and cat advertising to TV viewers who own cats.
So I'm guessing in the future will be able to drill down to how TV viewers feel about advertising and their celebrity spokespeople: We'll be able to send scandal-apathetic advertising to scandal- apathetic TV homes, and scandal-concerned advertising to scandal-concerned TV homes.