Tiger Woods TV ads vanish from prime-time

/ Source: The Associated Press

Advertisements featuring Tiger Woods have vanished from prime-time since Nov. 29, two days after a Nov. 27 car crash involving the No. 1 ranked golfer, according to data from Nielsen Co.

The research firm said the last prime-time ad to appear featuring the golfer was a 30-second ad on Nov. 29 for the Gillette Co. That commercial aired eight times during November, spokesman Aaron Lewis said.

There have been no other commercials since then on all broadcast networks and 19 cable networks during the evening news, prime-time, late-night and during weekend sports, he said.

Meanwhile, Gatorade is discontinuing its Woods drink but says it made the decision before the golfer's car accident led to a media firestorm surrounding his personal life.

The decision to drop the drink, called Tiger Focus, was first reported by trade publication Beverage Digest in an issue dated Nov. 25, two days before the incident at Woods' home in Florida. The publication's editor, John Sicher, said he learned of the decision the week of Nov. 9.

The brand — a unit of PepsiCo Inc. — says the decision does not have to do with recent events. A spokesman says the decision came several months ago.

The drink debuted in March 2008.

Beverage Digest estimates it represents less than 5 percent of Gatorade's volume. Sales volume of Tiger Focus was down 34 percent this year through October.

Along with Gillette and PepsiCo's Gatorade, Woods has endorsement agreements with Nike, Electronic Arts, AT&T, Accenture, Tag Heuer, Upper Deck and others. The sponsors collectively pay him about $100 million a year.