Ralph Lauren, Macy’s Distance Themselves From Ryan Lochte
The U.S. Olympic team isn't the only entity feeling the sting of the recent Ryan Lochte controversy. Following news that the Olympic swimmer fabricated a story of getting robbed at gunpoint in Rio de Janeiro, images of the athlete have quietly disappeared from the Ralph Lauren Olympic apparel page on its site and allegedly from some Macy’s brick-and-mortar stores.
Total Retail's Take: We frequently see and hear about instances when a brand has to cut ties with a celebrity endorser or spokesperson because of that person's questionable behavior. So the news that Ralph Lauren and Macy's don't want to be associated with Ryan Lochte following his "fabrication" of the events that took place in Rio de Janeiro shouldn't come as a surprise. The more relevant question to me: Are celebrity spokespeople worth the risk? They're expensive, and can bring shame to your brand in an instant. Although I guess it worked out for Nike and Michael Jordan.
Joe Keenan is the executive editor of Total Retail. Joe has more than 10 years experience covering the retail industry, and enjoys profiling innovative companies and people in the space.