Kelloggs said it would not be renewing its sponsorship contract with Phelps, telling the Associated Press that Phelps' behaviour - he was caught on camera smoking marijuana - was "not consistent with the image of Kellogg(s).''Please note that Kellogg's makes its fortune selling sugar to children. Popular brands include Cocoa Pops (now only 36.5 percent sugar!), Froot Loops (41.5 percent) and Frosties (41.3).
While it might be an attempt by Kellogg to minimise any collateral in the Soccer Mum market, to the rest of us it just looks like drug snobbery. Kellogg should have sucked it up, contexualised it. Reason magazine notes what Michael Phelps should have said when the moneymen told him to apologise:
You’ll have to pardon my cynicism. But I call bullshit. You don’t give a damn about my health. You just get a voyeuristic thrill from watching an elite athlete fall from grace–all the better if you get to exercise a little moral righteousness in the process...I'd like to see all the board members, directors and management of Kellogg stand with hand on heart and swear that they've never taken stronger drugs than high frustose corn syrup. Let's face it, if you win as many gold medals as Michael Phelps did last year, you've earned a little bit of slack. It's not as if he ran a $50 billion Ponzi scheme or bankrupted Lehman Brothers or anything. This is a man who looks after himself. As professionals have noted, that was quite some bong. The King of Bongs, in fact:
Tell you what. I’ll make you a deal. I’ll apologize for smoking pot when every politician who ever did drugs and then voted to uphold or strengthen the drug laws marches his ass off to the nearest federal prison to serve out the sentence he wants to impose on everyone else for committing the same crimes he committed. I’ll apologize when the sons, daughters, and nephews of powerful politicians who get caught possessing or dealing drugs in the frat house or prep school get the same treatment as the no-name, probably black kid caught on the corner or the front stoop doing the same thing.
According to connoisseurs, the ROOR is designed for—ahem—high performance. As opposed to being made like a hippified art object, it's constructed from the glass you'd find in chemistry beakers, which makes it easy to clean. (Bongs, apparently, get quite sticky with tar.) It also has a series of clever seals: Tight rubber O-rings that prevent leaks and allow the smoke density to be regulated more easily.If Phelps had been drinking whisky and not smoke out of a glass, there would be no story. In fact, he probably would have got another sponsor. But because instead he was imbibing unsponsorable marijuana smoke, he is villified.
I'm just hoping this bites Kellogg on the bum with stoners boycotting their products. That could do some serious damage to their market share. From now on, I'm getting my sugar from Sanitarium and Chelsea!