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Yes, smart celebrity endorsers want some product control

Professional skateboarder Tony Hawk is quite excited to be intimately linked with quality skater video games over which he commands material input and a final thumbs-up-or-down decision on go-ahead marketing.

As for the rolls of toilet paper from yesteryear that contained imprints of his name, well … .

As reported in a recent media story spotlighting celebrity control -- or lack thereof -- over endorsed products, Hawk's story featuring, well, the hawking of merchandise, is a tale of woe and ultimate redemption.

When Hawk first arrived on the marketing scene as a viable pitchman, he says he was naïve.

"I didn't understand about quality control or keeping control of the brand," he says, which resulted in his linkage with the aforementioned toilet paper and an assortment of low-quality offerings that hurt his image.

Hawk ultimately had to pay to get out from under multiple contracts he wanted nothing to do with.

His current agent says that Hawk learned much from the travails and process.

Specifically, he learned that "advertising is powerful," and that if a product is inferior, "it can create negativity."

Hawk is, as noted above, now far happier with his connection to the video product.

"I feel like I was a big reasons there was authenticity to the game," he says.

Empirical evidence bears out the importance of that in celebrity endorsements. As we noted in our December 6 blog post, "relevancy and truth in marketing matter quite a lot to the public."

And as noted therein in a quote from a marketing executive, "Consumers can smell inauthenticity a mile away."

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