I get it. Celebrities need money just like the rest of us. And the idea of the celebrity endorsement goes way, way back. Even Pope Leo XIII got into the game in the 1800s when he loaned his likeness to Vin Mariani, a patent medicine promising “health, strength, energy and vitality.” It also contained lots of cocaine. Here, some more modern examples of celebrity endorsement deals that should never have been.
Montell Williams for MoneyMutual Loans
I always thought that Montell was one of the good ones, a crusader for the underprivileged, and maybe there was a time when that was true. But in these hard times, he’s hawking short-term, high-interest loans. MoneyMutual doesn’t even loan you the money themselves. No, they sell your personal banking information to scores of lenders who flood your inbox with offers. A brilliant scheme. Bad credit? No problem. Just show us a pay stub and let us help you increase your debt.
Henry Winkler for One Reverse Mortgage
What’s that, grandma? You thought you just read that reverse mortgage foreclosures are on the rise? You thought that a reverse mortgage might be a really, really bad idea? Poor, sweet, dear grandma. You’re just having a senior moment. But don’t worry, the Fonz will show you the way.
Serena Williams for Tampax Pearl
An Olympic gold medalist endorsement deal used to look like Bruce Jenner on a Wheaties box. These days, it looks like Serena Williams in a short, white tennis mini being chased around by a woman (“Mother Nature”) who is trying to deliver a gift box to Williams. A red gift box. “Bad blood? Well, there is plenty of blood …” says Mother Nature. Later, Mother Nature suggests that Serena thinks of her as an aunt: “Aunt Flo.” Ugh.
Mary-Kate Olsen for Got Milk?
If only they had actually gotten some milk into her. Mary-Kate was suffering from anorexia during the shooting.
Mikhail Gorbachev for Pizza Hut
He could have at least gone with Domino’s. What’s next, Nelson Mandela for Bob’s Big Boy?
Iggy Pop for Swiftcover Insurance
Even anti-establishment punk icons are susceptible.
Bob Dylan for Victoria’s Secret
Think of all the masturbating teenage boys whose minds you ruined forever. Get the hell out of my lingerie commercial!
Lisa Rinna for Depend Undergarments
Guessing those Melrose Place residuals have stopped rolling in. Bummer.
Jimmy Johnson for ExtenZe
No longer surrounded by nubile cheerleaders on a daily basis, the Super Bowl champ has gone over to the world of “male enhancement.”
Shannen Doherty for Education Connection
The 90210 actress has already done Playboy, married three times, and scored roles in Satan’s School for Girls and Growing the Big One, which is probably not what you think it is, given that it was a Hallmark Channel flick. These days, she’s looking like a meth addict and selling get-smart-quick schemes. Oh, and pursuing her degree. In liberal arts.