Dubious celebrity endorsements

Did Henry Winkler’s stock drop at all in your eyes when you learned he was hawking reverse mortgages? Granted, this was the guy who is probably best known for playing the character Fonzie in Happy Days and not some master thespian…but still it left me with a bad impression. I imagine the company selected him as a spokesperson based on nothing more than his status as a C list celebrity and target demographics.

Are there any celebrities that you feel fared poorly or have in some fashion been diminished by choosing to do a commercial endorsement?

I’ve seen Tom Selleck hawking reverse mortgages, too. He’s not exactly an A list celeb anymore, but he does star in a hit prime time series, Blue Bloods, so I don’t think those commercials have diminished him too much.

Only if they are still an “active” celebrity. Otherwise I understand that the bills have to get paid somehow, and endorsements are a way to make money that doesn’t directly involved robbing people (usually.) However I do sometimes look askance at people who use their fame to hawk anything at all, just for the money grab, while they are still working performers. Jimmy Buffett gets hit with this, mainly on the quality of anything with the “Margaritaville” brand on it except the restaurants. The booze and beer are utter crap.
eta: As for Tom Selleck, it helps to know that he is an absolute dick IRL, so nothing disgusting he did would surprise me.

Rick Harrison for LifeLock. Yeah, having your identity stolen sucks but promoting a company that can’t even protect their own CEO from identity theft, over a dozen times that they made public, is dumb.

Rudy Giuliani endorsing LifeLock identity theft protection service.

And it’s certainly dubious all the way down…

I recall Sally Struthers being mocked for doing some sort of humanitarian aid infomercial.

When Bill Cosby was selling Jello pudding pops back in the day I don’t recall thinking anything was wrong with it, but I saw one of those old commercials not long ago and thanks to recent events found my perceptions have changed considerably.

Of course they selected him because of target demographics; that’s at the heart of all advertising. I do know what you mean though. I kind of cringed when Jamie Lee Curtis was promoting the yogurt that makes you poop.

What always stands out to me is when a celebrity who has a very distinct voice does a voice over and uses “we” and “our” as if they’re part of the company. No, Susan Sarandon, you did not take care of my cold symptoms.

Cosby did a lot of commercials for a lot of products. In fact, until scandal hit, his job as a pitchman ran neck-and-neck with “The Cosby Show” as the thing he was best known for.

As for recent dubious celebrity endorsements, there’s baseball HOFer Frank Thomas’ hyping of a questionable energy supplement. There’s a thread about this somewhere on the SDMB.

Also, this thread is about sketchy products whose endorsement by a celebrity end up diminishing the celebrity’s worth. What about the other way around? Are there any products you thought less of because of the celebrity who endorsed them? (“Really? They got that guy to plug this?”)

The Alex Trebek insurance commercials bug me a bit. Partially because he’s famous for hosting a non-fiction (for lack of a better description) show, but also because the ads are just so dumb.

“$9.95 a month for anybody!”
“How much for me?”
“$9.95 a month for you, too.”
“Ooh, do me next. How much?”
“I’m gonna be here all night. What part of ‘anybody’ did you not understand?”

On the other hand, hosting Jeopardy! only takes one day every two weeks, so I can’t really begrudge Trebek wanting to do something else just to keep busy.

I read somewhere that Margaritaville was the single most lucrative song ever written. I can believe it.

I understand Ted Nugent did a commercial for Vernor’s Ginger Ale back in the 1980’s (I’ve never actually seen it). In fairness, though, this was years before the general public learned about Terrible Ted’s psychotic tendencies, so the good folks at Vernor’s should get a pass for that one.

Just yesterday my son brought up Eric Clapton’s beer ad that ran concurrently with his stint in rehab. What a weird coinkidinky!

Nothing beats Philip Michael “Tubbs” Thomas plugging the Psychic Hotline at 2 a.m. :rolleyes:

Roseanne Barr for Snickers, seven years ago. Funny, though.

Wilford Brimley for Liberty Mutual, because, you know, “Diabeetus”.

I was kinda surprised when I first saw Mila Kunis doing ads for Jim Beam. I can’t even explain why, it just seemed…odd.

Maybe it’s because she looks like she’s too young to drink the product.

Because of my age, I only knew Sally Struthers from those commercials. It wasn’t until years later that I started watching All In The Family.

Regarding Henry Winkler, he is probably best known for Happy Days, but many people under, say, 25-30 are only going to know him from Arrested Development and Parks and Rec. I can’t recall seeing the commercials, but those shows ran much more recently. He’s not A-list, but he’s not exactly washed up either.

I lost a lot of respect for Sam Waterston when he shilled for robot insurance.

The ad I had to sit through to get to the clip was for Progressive Insurance.

The estate of Martin Luther King telling us to have a dream about driving a pick up truck (several years before that it was insurance)

Wasn’t a major source of that mocking in the form of South Park and the Starvin’ Marvin episode from way back when?