An open letter to Mr. Michael Phelps

Dear Mr Phelps,

Congratulations on all your hard work paying off. Kudos to you for accomplishing something that no one else has ever done! The feeling must be amazing. Very impressive to say the least. And thank you for sharing those moments with all of us.

On the other hand I think you should know that many of us believe that you’ve also earned a world record in shortsightedness and disappointment. Frosted Flakes? Earn Your Stripes? Since when is a sugar coated nightmare like Frosted Flakes eating right? What kind of example is that for the kids?

Maybe you’re not aware of it but we are coming up on 10 million overweight and obese children in the United States. There are also 70+ million adults in the same condition. Is it any wonder our healthcare system is a mess? And now one of the few people (i.e., you) who is in a position to make a difference – with all due respect – sells out. The brand Michael Phelps aligns itself with a nutritional black hole like Tony the Tiger. That’s the best you could do? Who’s advised you on that deal? What was their cut? Can you say, conflict of interest? Simply put, Michael what are you thinking?

What’s even more tragic is that you probably can’t even respond honestly to this letter. You or one of your people will have to spin it so Kellogg is happy. So much for freedom of speech, eh? And please spare me the, “But I’ll be able to…”. No way! I’m absolutely certain that whatever it is could have been done without getting into bed with Tony the Tiger. After all, YOU ARE CURRENTLY THE GREATEST ATHLETE IN THE WORLD. I wonder how the other brands you endorse feel now? Moi? I’d feel ill.

I understand your window of opportunity (for endorsements) is brief but that is all the more reason to defend and define the integrity of your brand. You could be a spokesperson for so many things and you’re about to be pimped on YouTube saying, “They’re greaaattttt!” 10 million kids Michael, 10 million kids.

Shame on Kellogg! And shame on you!! I apologize if I sound like a cynic but I honestly don’t think we’re expecting too much from a gold medal winner such as yourself.

Feel free to give me a shout if you want some objective third party feedback on how things like this can damage your brand and tarnish your legacy for many years to come. Bill Gates is “saving the world” and the Olympic Games superstar Michael Phelps is endorsing a sugar coated cereal targeted to kids. You’ve got to be kidding me.

Totally disappointed,
Mark Simchock
Chief Alchemist
Alchemy United
Princeton NJ