14 Dec 2009 0:23
In a move that was widely expected, Procter and Gamble has ended its 53-year marketing relationship with Mr. Clean, whose eponymous line of cleaning products is one of the consumer goods giant’s most profitable brands.
In a statement Thursday, the company said Mr. Clean, 81, was “no longer the best representative” for its advertising. The action came just weeks after revelations that Clean had engaged in infidelities both before and after his 2004 marriage to pulp and paper company Georgia-Pacific’s icon, the Brawny Paper Towel Guy.
While tabloid rumors of infidelity had dogged Clean before, lack of hard evidence had allowed Proctor and Gamble to
dismiss wipe up what it called “dirty rumors” about the well-known celebrity. During the Thanksgiving weekend, however, internet users searching for stain removal tips saw explicit pictures of Clean and Vin Diesel appear among Google’s live results.
Amid mounting evidence, Clean “came clean” last week in a series of statements on his web site, explaining that while what he did was wrong, he had “just tapped the wrong contact on my iPhone” when sending the photos. He added that he never intended his Facebook photos to be visible to Everyone, and he left open the possibility of a lawsuit against the social networking firm, claiming damages resulting from misleading defaults for the new Facebook privacy settings.
Clean has also made a public apology to Diesel, Procter and Gamble, and Guy, his partner since 1964. Guy and Clean were married in 2004 at their Martha’s Vineyard home. Neither Georgia-Pacific nor Diesel, who is not married, have spoken publicly about the revelations, and neither responded to our requests for a statement.