After making headlines this year for wardrobe malfunctions, traipsing out of Ashton Kutcher’s house at 4 a.m., and throwing up outside of clubs, wild child singer Rihanna has gotten the ax from Nivea.
Click here to see which celebrities have lost their spokesperson jobs>
“Rihanna is a no go … I do not understand how to bring the core brand of Nivea in conjunction with Rihanna” Nivea’s new CEO, Stefan Heidenreich, told the German paper Welt. He explained, “Nivea is a company which stands for trust, family and reliability.”
The singer had posed for Nivea’s 100th birthday, but apparently the “skincare for life” that was written on her poster didn’t apply to her contract.
If it makes her feel any better, Rihanna certainly isn’t the first huge celebrity to be kicked out of a brand ambassador role. From seedy drug scandals to openly not wearing makeup (when being the face of a cosmetics brand), here are the biggest celebrity-brand break-ups.
Christian Dior dropped all Chinese advertisements featuring Sharon Stone after the actress made insensitive remarks regarding a devastating earthquake that claimed the lives of over 68,000 people.
'They're not being nice to the Dalai Lama, who is a friend of mine,' Stone said. 'And then all of this earthquake and all this happened and I thought, is that karma? When you're not nice, that bad things happen to you?'
Don't you love karma?
Before O.J. Simpson became famous for allegedly murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend, Ronald Goldman, the former football star was the face of Hertz rental cars.
During the 1970s, Hertz paid Simpson a reported $550,000 a year for his spots.
When uncontested allegations of domestic abuse were reported in 1992, Hertz dumped Simpson. Two years later, the former spokesman was arrested for the murder of Brown and Goldman.
Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps came under fire after a picture surfaced in which the swimmer was smoking pot at a party at the University of Southern Carolina.
Two of his deals with AT&T and Rosetta Stone ended on December 31 and neither company decided to renew his contract. 'We do not condone his activities and are disappointed in his recent judgment,' a statement issued by Rosetta Stone read.
Kellogg Co. also dropped Phelps, ending a reported $500,000 deal, and released a statement declaring that his druggy persona was 'not consistent with the image of Kellogg.'
Other brands didn't care about Phelps' bong. Subway went so far as to have Phelps star in an ad titled 'Be Yourself.'
Sidenote: The 22 time gold medalist seems to have recovered pretty well.
At the peak of the cola wars in 1989, PepsiCo decided to fight the fire of Coca-Cola's celebrity laden ad blitz with fire and gave Madonna a one-year contract to star in a series of Pepsi commercials and a concert tour.
Paying the actress over $5 million to use her new song -- 'Like a Prayer' -- in the spot, Pepsi premiered the commercial to almost 250 million people during a broadcast of 'The Cosby Show.'
While the ad itself was PG, Madonna's music video for the song in which she witnesses a rape and gyrates around a burning cross incited an explosion of controversy. (Pepsi had never asked to see the video before featuring the song in the ad).
Catholic bishop from Texas, Rene Gracido asked for a boycott not only of Pepsi but of its holdings as well, including Taco Bell, KFC, and Pizza Hut. Less than a month later, Pepsi pulled the spot.
Poor William Shatner. He got the axe for being too good at his job.
After 14 years as a Priceline spokesperson -- best known for his role as 'The Negotiator' -- Shatner's character is literally getting pushed off a cliff.
Why are Priceline execs sending Shatner to his fiery demise? It turns out that Priceline is replacing the bid-based travel booking site to a fixed price model, so they had to do something big and drastic to make viewers notice the change... a change that they could never understand if the Negotiator were still alive.
According to E-Poll, when survey participants were asked to name the first thing that came to mind when they heard Priceline, 25 per cent of participants said travel and 24 per cent said Shatner or some variant (like Captain Kirk).
Kate Moss was axed from various fashion lines after the Daily Mirror printed photos of the British 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.
Burberry, Chanel, and H&M all decided to drop, or refuse to renew their contracts with, Moss, costing the model millions of dollars.
But don't cry over the misfortune of 'Cocaine Kate' -- Moss was still somehow able to double her income over the next five years.
More than a decade after the Madonna incident, Pepsi was enmeshed in celebrity spokesperson controversy yet again in 2002.
Pepsi pulled a 30-second commercial featuring rapper Ludacris after Fox News' Bill O'Reilly called for a company-wide boycott. O'Reilly characterised Ludacris' lyrics as 'immoral' and a bad influence on youth.
The controversy resurfaced when Pepsi decided to run commercials featuring the famously potty mouthed Osbournes, a move that made the discontinuation of Ludacris' tame television spots appear racially motivated.
In the end, Pepsi agreed to pay $3 milion to the Ludacris Foundation, an Atlanta-based nonprofit, in order to avoid a hip hop wide boycott. Pepsi offered to re-shoot some of Ludacris' ads, but the rapper declined.
Family friendly brands Nutella and McDonald's did not renew their contracts with Kobe Bryant after the Lakers star was accused of rape in 2004.
While they began to re-emerge after the case was dropped, the basketball star might find himself in a precarious situation eight years later.
International Business Times speculates that Bryant's impending divorce could also impact his endorsements.
In June 2012, Go Daddy--which has become known for its high-on-cleavage, low-on-content ads--decided to change its image to be more conservative and technology oriented. This involved hiring an ad agency (Deutsch) to do its Olympics commercials and ditching long-time Go Daddy girl, Danica Patrick.
'Danica and Go Daddy have worked very well together, no doubt,' Go Daddy CMO Barb Rechterman told Business Insider, 'but we are going to make our initial shift without Danica.'
When the first new and 'serious' ad premiered, it ended up having just as much cleavage as the old ads.
Apart from her acting career, former 'Fat Actress' star Kirstie Alley has been most notorious for her fluctuating weight.
Alley ended her three-year stint as a Jenny Craig spokesperson in 2008 with the claims that she had kept her 75-pound weight loss steady for over a year and was ready to give other spokeswomen, Valerie Bertinelli and Queen Latifah, a shot.
True or false, Alley appeared on 'Oprah' two months later to apologise for regaining all the weight. Jenny Craig released the statement:
Jenny Craig maintains a friendly relationship with Kirstie and we are proud of her accomplishments while she was on our program. Kirstie successfully lost 75 lbs and maintained that weight loss throughout our three year relationship, which came to an end in December 2007. We remain supportive of Kirstie, wish her nothing but the best and we would welcome her back at any time as a returning client.
Dumper: Wegmans Food Markets, 2011. Dumpee: Alec Baldwin, for loving Words With Friends a little too much.
Rochester-based grocery store Wegmans Food Markets temporarily fired Alec Baldwin as one of their spokespeople.
Baldwin and his mother, a loyal customer, had been featured in a Wegmans commercial that the supermarket decided to pull after Baldwin refused to turn his cell phone off during a flight's takeoff earlier last winter. The actor not only fought with flight attendants until he was escorted off the plane, but he then Tweeted about his experience. Wegmans said that numerous customers called to complain about the incident.
But the ban was short-lived. Wegmans decided to re-air the commercial after the grocery store received hundreds of emails, tweets, and angry calls.
Nivea's new CEO, Stefan Heidenreich, told a German newspaper that Rihanna was a 'no go.'
'I do not understand how to bring the core brand of Nivea in conjunction with Rihanna,' he continued. 'Nivea is a company which stands for trust, family and reliability.'
Rihanna modelled for Nivea's 100th birthday campaign last year, but the pop star doesn't seem to have taken Heidenreich's comments too personally ... (see next slide).
While NBA legend Charles Barkley was never fired for his gaffe, it was still pretty embarrassing.
Barkley didn't realise the cameras were on during a Hawks-Heat game he was broadcasting earlier this month and was accidentally caught calling his endorsement a scam.
'I thought this was the greatest scam going -- getting paid for watching sports,' Barkley said. 'This Weight Watchers thing is a bigger scam.'
Even though Barkley could have meant that it was a scam to get paid so much to lose weight (and not that the weight loss program itself was a scam), it was still a bad move. Still Weight Watchers took the flub lightly, releasing the statement, 'We love Charles for the same reason everyone loves Charles, he's unfiltered...We agree that being a spokesman for Weight Watchers is a pretty great gig.'
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