Charlie B. did a whole of lot talking with an open mike last week, but what we heard was mostly par for course from the new Weight Watchers spokesperson.
Less than a month ago, we reported on Weight Watchers’ attempts to reach men with Barkley added as a new face for the brand. He’s on the website homepage with the line “Lose Like a Man” and gives a testimonial in a short clip where he praises the Weight Watchers system.
Last week during a basketball game that he was announcing, he had an off-the-cuff conversation with his announcer colleagues that he didn’t realize was being livestreamed on NBA.tv (clip above). In his comments, he says, “I thought this was the greatest scam going—getting paid for watching sports—this Weight Watchers thing is a bigger scam.” Ack.
As Business Insider rightly points out, he wasn’t calling Weight Watchers a scam necessarily. In fact, he talks about the weight he’s losing with the program. It sounds more like he’s using the word to describe how much he’s getting out of the deal, i.e. I can’t believe I’m getting paid for this.
@MissSuccess, who tweeted us this morning about the story, agrees.
“…[I]t’s clear that this is just a case of poor word association and unless his comments are taken out of context, they should only cause a small rift or scolding behind closed doors,” Holley writes on her blog. “Although his use of the word scam raised a few red flags, it isn’t enough to tarnish the authenticity of his endorsement.”
She suggests media training, which we’ll second. But Weight Watchers also needs to keep in mind that they hired Charles Barkley, who is known for his blunt talk. It’s like a fashion company hiring Lady Gaga and then worrying that she might wear something wacky. Actually, what he says about the Atlanta Hawks is much more harsh.