Public Opinion: Kellogg Reputation Takes a Hit Over Dumping Michael Phelps

The reverberations from the Michael Phelps bong photo continue. Kellogg cereal company's refusal to renew the Olympic gold medalist's endorsement contract led to calls from drug reformers and others to boycott Kellogg.

It is unclear what kind of traction, if any, the boycott is getting, but one web site that measures companies' reputations is reporting that Kellogg has been in a slide since it dumped the bong-holding swimmer. Vanno: The Company Reputation Index had Kellogg ranked ninth out of some 5,600 companies it lists before it dumped Phelps. Now, two weeks later, Kellogg has declined to number 84.

The Phelps affair wasn't the only thing affecting Kellogg's reputation early this year. The food giant also suffered negative publicity from the tainted peanut butter scandal. But Kellogg's rank only declined from ninth to sixteenth before it dumped Phelps; since then, the decline has been steep and rapid.

Measuring corporate reputations is an inexact science, and Vanno's method, while showing trends, is not precise. Vanno creates its rankings from real-time surveys on its web site filtered through a Bayesian algorithm, similar to those used in spam filters and to spot credit card fraud. Still, the rapid decline in Kellogg's ranking suggests that its 1950s-style response to an Olympic pot smoker has hurt the company.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Kellogg's isn't Snap or Krackle or Pop, but Poop.

I miss my rice crispy treats... but war is hell!

I miss my rice crispy treats... but war is hell!

make your own

Make your own rice crispy treats using another brand of cereal they taste alot better homemade.

I totally agree

Homemade food always tastes better than pre-made or convenience foods (and it's much more healthful, too -- no questionable ingredients, no preservatives no artifical flavors and/or colors). Cheerios make great treats using the rice crispy recipe, so do other kinds of cereals, experiment until you find your fav. They are really easy to make at home, a 7 year old can do it (with a little help in melting the butter and marshmallows, and do use real butter it tastes beter and is actually more healthful than margarine).

I have a feeling that homemade is going to become very trendy for just about everything, It gives "more bang for the buck", in a depression (as we are facing) that becomes very important to people, when income is decreasing.

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

Come around already, Kellogg

Please, Kellogg, just admit your mistake and offer Phelps an apology. Perhaps if the company were more concerned about his drunk driving conviction back in the day, then your recent actions wouldn't be viewed as such a double-standard.

So wise up and join the crowd of rationality. I'm participating in the boycott but I've been jonesing for some pop-tarts. Until an apology comes out, it's toaster struedals for me.

The importance of this

The importance of this boycott cannot be understated since it could reveal the power of the anti-drug war community and voters. If they prove to be a viable economic force, politicians will take these issues more seriously.

my comment...

oh; so if Michael Phelps went to a party and smoked a cigarette that would have ok ?

why ? tobacco has nicotine and is used as an insectice

Cannabis Sativa on the other hand has THC; an anti disease compund;

besides every one smokes tobacco or MJ at a party

so what else is new and who does the pompous kellogs officials think they kid

as a cereal grower and harvester they should have Health Bars with hemp seed protein; not artificial colored pop tarts.

Cheap corn flakes

I was at Grocery Outlet in Berkeley, CA and they had Michael Phelps boxes for sale cheap. I bought a four to keep for history -- only Kellogg product i've bought since he got dumped.

What gets me is driving drunk is ok with Kellogg but toking ain't. Not that i think driving over some legal limit is necessarily immoral but sure is much more dangerous to others than toking up.

let's take our country back

When we are through boycotting Kellogg's we shoud start on Verizon and AT&T for their participation in the Bush Nazi's illegal demestic spying program. When AT&T says "your world delivered" they mean delivered to the feds - nevermind the court order. And that posse that follows the Verizon customer around listening to every call - well, at least it's truth in advertising.


Good point and excellent idea

The warrantless wiretapping in which those two participated, co-operating with government, is that main reason I stayed with Quest and moved to Nextel (now Sprint). Besides, Sprint/Nextel has the convenience of direct-connect (walkie talkie type communication) and I can use that to talk to anyone who also has it all across the US, just as if they were standing right next to me; and I can talk on it, "legally", while driving. Tho I really do not understand the difference between holding my phone to my ear in a regular phone call, and holding it in my hand, near my mouth, while pressing a button to tallk. I guess the legislators had to allow for CB and FM radio communications between dispatchers and mobile employees (like truck drivers and cabbies), so they couldn't criminalize that form of using a cell phone.

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

Thank You, Kellogg

You've started me reading labels, searching for your subsidiary products. They, too, are added to the "NO BUY" list. You made your choice. I made mine. Not one red cent to your any longer.

A little searching and "testing" will also bring your into contact with "replacement" materials. Some even taste better!


I was already boycotting kelloggs because awhile back, I had gotten a heads up about them using genetically modified sugar beets to sweeten their cereals beginning this year.
The fact that they dumped Michael Phelps over a bong hit only solidified my beliefs that kelloggs doesn't care about people; only the bottom line. I realize that they're in business to make $, but somewhere along the line, they've got to at least pretend that they care about the consumer, and what the consumer cares about.


I havent heard of the boycott until now and will join in. Adios rice crispies

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