December 17, 2009

Accenture wedded its corporate image to Tiger Woods.

And now it must struggle to erase the connection.

But what I don't understand is why a corporation would stake so much in the reputation of a living human being without researching the risk involved. There was so much bad behavior to be discovered. Did Accenture just believe the hype? How reckless!

46 comments:

Eric said...

Accenture is, after all, Anderson Consulting. If they do everything like they write software this kind of thing is no surprise.

The Drill SGT said...

Andersen Consulting?

LOL

Risk management is their forte...

remember ENRON?

That was Arthur Andersen, the accounting side (before they split their consulting from accounting)

Old Dad said...

I think it's plausible that Accenture knew, and that they had contingency plans in case of a bimbo eruption, but why not take advantage of the rainmaker as long as possible?

Clearly lots of people have known and for a very long time. There was an obvious vested interest within the inner circle and investors to keep the Golden Goose laying, rather, depositing those golden eggs.

AllenS said...

I just returned from wikipedia:

Accenture has been criticized repeatedly by Lou Dobbs of CNN and others for moving many jobs outside the U.S., resulting in loss of work and employment for some U.S. citizens. This is because Accenture utilizes Global Delivery Centres in South Asia and Southeast Asia (such as Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore), Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, New Delhi and Mumbai in India, and, Manila and Cebu in the Philippines) to reduce cost and increase profit margin in outsourcing deals with major U.S. companies. This enables Accenture to perform work (such as software development and call centre support) at a greatly reduced employee cost as compared to U.S. employees.

Woods and Accenture are not our friends. I can see why they needed each other.

Pogo said...

"Accenture wedded its corporate image to Tiger Woods."
Tiger's wedding vows seem largely to be more honored in the breach than in the observance.

It's like naming a building after a living person.

Examples are too numerous to mention.

The University of Missouri built a new basketball arena with $25M of Walton (WalMart) money. It was named Paige Sports Arena after a young granddaughter.

This was all undone when ABC reported Paige had paid $20,000 to her roommate at USC to do all her papers and reports for her.

Now it's Mizzou Arena.
Oops.

class-factotum said...

Weren't they also the auditor of choice for Enron?

Ron said...

Well...they'll wise up with their 2nd marriage...don't we all?

Florida said...

They should sue Tiger Woods for the damage he is now doing to their brand.

And other corporations would do well to ponder the risks they take when wedding their shareholders futures to the backs of the dregs that are the major sports stars (NBA, NFL mostly).

They should contract accordingly to enable the claw back of the payments when the shit hits the fan - and it will.

Almost to a man, NBA and NFL sports stars are doing exactly the same thing Tiger Woods was doing. And it's the sponsorship money that enables the behavior. Maybe you can't buy love, but you can buy a lot of pussy.

Tiger wasn't the first sports star to hire an "events manager." They're all doing "bottle service" parties at the major clubs (thinly disguised whore parties). Vegas bacchanals are de rigour, and what happens in Vegas 'aint exactly staying in Vegas. It's being splashed on the evening news.

Up until now, for the whores, there wasn't much of a payday - just the ability to earn rent money.

But girls learn fast how to turn a buck on their back and this time they smell real money.

Shawn Levasseur said...

If memory serves, Tiger was single when Accenture signed him. Much of what now is considered bad behavior in his marriage, was then just his private life.

Did Gatorade know about Michael Jordan's gambling habit when they made the "If I could be like Mike" commercials?

Maybe in the future Accenture could use its advertising time to explain what the hell they actually do. Aside from Tiger, all their ads had were Madison Avenue platitudes about integrity, and reliability...

It's not like they're some well known product like Budwiser, who can afford to have commercials that aren't really about their product.

campy said...

stake so much in the reputation of a living human being without researching the risk involved. [...] Did Accenture just believe the hype? How reckless!

I see what you're doing here, Althouse.

That's very cute.

The Drill SGT said...

AllenS,

BTW, they are no longer even a US firm. They moved offshore, first to Bermuda, then to Ireland.
But they still are at the Federal teat.

Pogo said...

@campy:

Heh.

AllenS said...

Drill,

Yeah, I read that, but didn't want to quote the whole article. These people suck.

Florida said...

"It's not like they're some well-known product like Budweiser, who can afford to have commercials that aren't really about their product."

Corporate consultants such as Accenture don't actually do anything, and don't actually claim to do anything specific.

Otherwise, they'd have to produce results measurable by known metrics.

That could hurt profits.

The Drill SGT said...

Florida said...
They should sue Tiger Woods for the damage he is now doing to their brand.


I disagree. Both parties were clearly represented by counsel when they entered into the contract.

Moral turpitude clauses in sports and PR contracts go back at least to when the Babe boffed bimbos before batting.

Both parties know the risks and priced services accordingly.

Arturius said...

But what I don't understand is why a corporation would stake so much in the reputation of a living human being without researching the risk involved.

What is so hard to understand? The American electorate did the same thing with the current occupant in the White House.

I'm having a difficult time thinking that Tiger's extramarital activities are going to have any significant negative financial impact on his ad sponsers. Sorry but most guys really don't care he was scoring on the side. Anyone (particularly male) who follows proffessional sports to any degree 1) doesn't really care and 2) just assumes these athletes are 'hitting it'.

Joaquin said...

Did Accenture just believe the hype?

Did the entire world not believe the hype?

rdkraus said...

Ya know, if Tiger hadn't crashed his car, he and Elin could probably have had a quiet divorce settlement, without any of this circus.

For the right price.

Pogo said...

The answer is pretty simple, really.

Anderson Consulting became Accenture after a scandal. They can just change their goddamn name again.

Addlepated is a suggestion; at least they won't have to change their monograms.

John said...

"Did Gatorade know about Michael Jordan's gambling habit when they made the "If I could be like Mike" commercials?"

The NBA is a lot more powerful and smarter than the PGA. The NBA knew how to protect its cash cow. The full extent of Jordan's gambling problem was always kept under wraps. The rumor that won't die is that Jordan "retired" at the behest of Stern to cover up a gambling scandal. Had Tiger been an equivelent level star in the NBA, David Stern would have sent one of his cleaners to clear this up long before it came to this.

k*thy said...

Exactly. If you're going to wade (jump) into the pool of idol worship, you have no one to blame but yourself.

Collectively, we have a reputation of having a short memory. A little rebranding and it'll all be good.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I have to confess, I was inconsolable when I first heard about the whole Tiger Woods affair but that’s because I was really hungover and thought they were talking about Tigger and the 100 Acre Wood. Needless to say I am relieved the fog and haze of alcohol wore off before I tossed out my rather large collection of Winnie the Pooh memorabilia.

Gary said...

Maybe more importantly there was so much bad behavior to be hidden, and for how long and how well it was hidden.

Was it in the best interests of a company's bottom line to research his personal behavior? It's all about the image isn't it? And if the consumer buys it, that's the end of story. Nike obviously believes that the image isn't tarnished, and the money will still flow.

Maybe what's reckless is our dollars supporting the lifestyles of the rich and famous even after discovering their poor and wretched behavior.

Pogo said...

Hoosier,

Oh man. I won't mention the Piglet rumors then. That little porker.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Did Accenture just believe the hype? How reckless!"

Oh, come now:

Hasn't "belief" - which I've been railing against for years now - been the default position for the smart set this decade? And, if so, haven't a whole lot of other people and institutions been "reckless" about a whole lot of other things, too? How much of our money has been squandered - just thrown down a black hole - on erroneous "beliefs" when the facts were already obvious? There's a huge conference going on in Copenhagen right now, supported by trillions of dollars spent before it happened - and, just like with all the other NewAge beliefs, all so they can get us to spend trillions more to hand over to criminals - on a "belief" that was exposed as wrong long before "ClimateGate" occurred. "How reckless!"

Where else could all that money have gone? (Suggestion: my donation cup) How further-broke are we because of these "beliefs"? And what are those criminals now doing with our money?

As Rush Limbaugh has said (and my experience over the last few years has proven) being correct and saying so - nicely, or by ranting, it doesn't matter how - has been the one true "sin" to the majority of "believers" out there over the last few years. That so many supposed "thinkers" go along with "beliefs" is the truly mad part of all this. And the fact they don't out themselves as idiots shows a level of cowardice I'd think no thinking person could live with. Simply shameful.

BTW - I've never gotten around to reading Glenn Reynolds' articles and speeches on the coming "singularity", so I don't know what he's referring to, but, it seems to me -when it comes to the subjects I find interesting: cultism, groupthink, NewAge, etc. - we're slowly (oh, so slowly) drilling down to a point of understanding something profound out there.

Bissage said...

I don’t care what they say, I’m not giving up my Tiger Woods portable ball washer.

Joaquin said...

You can't compare Tiger to other athletes because the fan base is completely different.
Don't get too wrapped-up in the hype that Tiger sold to everyone. He didn't.
Tiger's sponsors and agents while catering to everyone, primarily focused on white, upper income, golfers.
Nike Victory irons ($800) and Sumo 2 drivers ($400) aren't being bought by people making 40k.
Tiger's other sponsors are a who's who of corporate America. AT&T, Net-jets, Tag-Heuer and Buick before that, weren't catering to 20 year olds.
One segment of the golfing world that already completely turned away from everything Tiger are women golfers. They are gone and they are never coming back.

traditionalguy said...

Yes, we need a hero or two to re-set our self images by proxy as a winner and not as a loser. When men with feet of clay seem to be super in every way, just do not look at their feet. JFK is still hero worshipped, and he was almost entirely made of clay. (See, Bobby and J Edgar by Burton Hirsch,for a good read). The relationship between Hollywood and Washington DC is enmeshed to say the least.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Oh man. I won't mention the Piglet rumors then. That little porker.

Well everyone thinks Piglet is a swish anyway. Now I'd not thought twice if it was Eyore. That dude will hit anything.

Why do you think his tail is tacked on?

David said...

Accenture is a guy culture. Before the scandal Tiger was a great image for them and they were probably seduced by his golfiness. It was the ultimate guy "get" to know Tiger. Now he's not useful. Bye, Tiger. Nothing personal. That's the way guys do it.

David said...

From the article:

"The company’s advertising campaign is about “high performance,” and Mr. Woods “just wasn’t a metaphor for high performance anymore,” a spokesman for Accenture, Fred Hawrysh, said."

Performance? Metaphor? Jesus, Fred, who made you spokesman? Even the NYT plays this one deadpan.

David said...

I do question the assumption that "clearly, everyone knew." It's entirely possible they did not know. Or that they heard stories and dismissed it as the usual rumor you hear about most celebrities.

Since everyone is in CYA mode now, you have to be skeptical about everything you hear.

former law student said...

Weren't they also the auditor of choice for Enron?

Accenture (nee Anderson Consulting) split off from Arthur Anderson well before the Enron scandal broke. I remember there was a hilarious disgruntled employee web site at the time, calling the spinoff "Ass Enter," moaning and complaining about every little facet of the company, and lamenting the loss of the proud old accounting firm name.

Of course, once the scandal broke and Anderson went out of business, they were happy to have a different, coined name.

Michael said...

When this story first hit this blog, I noted that Accenture would not want to be associated with someone who thought with his dick. Accenture teamed with Woods because of his demonstrated focus and discipline which, sadly, they believed extended to his personal life. They do not want you to think that Accenture thinks with its corporate dick.

edutcher said...

Ann said...

But what I don't understand is why a corporation would stake so much in the reputation of a living human being without researching the risk involved. There was so much bad behavior to be discovered. Did Accenture just believe the hype? How reckless!

I think a lot of people are missing the bigger question she's asking.

Knowing people are weak and fallible, how do we trust anyone?

That includes a child trusting its parents, trust between spouses (The Blonde and me, etc.), and on down the line. This is where Kierkegaard and his leap of faith enter the picture. At some point, we all trust the people we know, and many we don't, to do the right thing by us.

We must trust people (airline pilots to deliver us safely, the truckers charged with delivering food to stores, etc.) to survive, but there's always the possibility we'll be let down.

How do we do it and stay sane?

WV "bless" (no kidding) Indeed.

Florida said...

"I’m not giving up my Tiger Woods portable ball washer."

I doubt Tiger Woods is giving up any of his ball washers either now that Elin has cut off his supply.

paul a'barge said...

what I don't understand is why a corporation would stake so much in the reputation of a living human being without researching the risk involved

It's Accenture. They got no game. They have nothing else to use to peddle their mediocrity.

traditionalguy said...

The world is changing faster and faster. No one should be allowed to holler out "Get in the hole" when Tiger hits his tee shot on 18 anymore. Maybe a new phrase can replace that one. Perhaps, "Get the Whores ready".

HT said...

I am home sick today - something sinusy or post nasal drip. (Any advice is appreciated)

I look forward to keeping company with the commenters.

Cedarford said...

Old Dad said...
I think it's plausible that Accenture knew, and that they had contingency plans in case of a bimbo eruption, but why not take advantage of the rainmaker as long as possible?

Good post. Intelligent. As sponsor, they certainly kept tabs on him and no doubt had a morals clause they knew he was in breach of ----but when you have a Tiger with the ability to attract execs making 500K to 8 million a year to any invite-only event just by saying they can be with Tiger and 4-5 misc other "star celebs" --- you have a supreme rainmaker bait in Tiger.
It isn't the execs themselves - its getting them screened so you know they control 10 mil to 2 billion in services business Accenture is interested in doing or helping them outsource American jobs to the Philippines, Dubai, India, Belarus - then assembling them so that Accenture's pitchmen can work them and close deals.

Also good post by Drill SGT - Accenture is not American anymore, destroys American jobs, but remains at the American teat.

-------------

Joaquin said...
You can't compare Tiger to other athletes because the fan base is completely different.
Don't get too wrapped-up in the hype that Tiger sold to everyone. He didn't.
Tiger's sponsors and agents while catering to everyone, primarily focused on white, upper income, golfers.


You're about 30 years behind the times in your sociology on where the money is, inside and outside golf. The people with the bucks or the control of corporate accounts are Asian, Jewish, oil Arabs, wealthy Latin billionaires - who flock to Tiger - as much as WASPs.

Florida said...

"Performance? Metaphor? Jesus, Fred, who made you spokesman? Even the NYT plays this one deadpan."

This guy is taking on whores two and three at a time.

I'd say that's the very definition of a "performance" metaphor.

EDH said...

Don't mess with Mister In-Between!

Accentuate the Positive

You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

You've got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium
Liable to walk upon the scene

To illustrate my last remark
Jonah in the whale Noah in the ark
What did they do just when everything looked so dark

They said you've
Got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on the affimative
Don't mess than Mister In Between

[Dance Break]

You got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minumum
Have faith of pandemonium
Liable to walk upon the scene

To illustrate my last remark
Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark
What did they do when just when everything looked so dark

They said you've
Got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on the affimative
Don't mess than Mister In Between

No! Don't mess with Mister In-Between

Ex Accenture SM said...

It is quite ironic that a consulting firm gets associated with cheating as it can totally destroy their business. I did a reflection on how Accenture cheats, just like Tiger Woods on my blog just now.

http://accentureischeatingonitsclients.blogspot.com/2009/12/three-ways-accenture-is-cheating-on-its.html

Ex Accenture SM said...

@Florida:

How can you say they don´t produce anything???

They produce millions of Power Poit Slides per month ...all of great value! ;)

Not to mention the Excel sheets...

John said...

You just cannot portray your image through a single person’s reputation. That is marketing hara-kiri. Accenture will be taken to the cleaners for this blunder. The first thing to get attached to a celebrity is celeb gossip.

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