As we all know, a little over a month ago Kellogg’s unceremoniously dumped Michael Phelps as their sponsor after photos surfaced of him smoking a bong.  Bloggers like myself, as well as members of popular social bookmarking sites like Digg, flexed our collective muscles and fought back, urging a boycott of Kellogg’s.  Based on early indications, Kellogg’s brand reputation has been significantly damaged by the move – it seems the company misjudged the current marketplace and the evolving views of consumers toward marijuana use.


At the time of the announcement, CNBC Sports Biz writer Darren Rovell called on Kellogg’s to put their money where their mouth was:

Let’s see you spend money to pay all those supermarkets to pull the boxes off the shelves. If Michael is that damaging your brand, find out how much is out there, and buy it all out.  Short of this, shame on you. You shouldn’t have issued a statement and used your corporate power if you weren’t really going to act on anything.

Kellogg’s, predictably, had no comment, opting not to  respond to Rovell’s suggestion.  Well today comes news that Kellogg’s may, in fact, be trying to purge their remaining Phelps related inventory.  Kellogg’s delivered two tons worth of cereal to a San Francisco food bank, all of it in boxes featuring Michael Phelps.  Once again, Kellogg’s has given no comment to Rovell in regards to his questions about the donation.  So was this an attempt by Kellogg’s to purge any remaining Phelps related inventory and cut any final connections they had to the star athlete? Or was this merely an oddly timed act of goodwill on the part of  Kellogg’s?

One thing is for sure, anyone picking up a box of Kellogg’s cereal at the food bank would be crazy to actually eat it. Boxes featuring  images of Phelps are going for as much as $30-$60 on eBay.


Kellogg’s may have just inadvertently flooded the memorablia market with thousands of new boxes of cereal featuring Michael Phelps.

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