The Gruen Planet continues to be one of my favorite shows on television. For those of you who aren’t familiar with it, it’s a show with a panel of advertising industry experts which dissects the spin and advertising strategies that we’re constantly bombarded with in pop culture, always with a twist of humour. Only a non-commercial channel like ABC could get away with this type of show…
Last night we were treated to twenty minutes of commentary around the Lance Armstrong scandal. In particular, they spoke about his PR strategy, the Livestrong brand, and Nike’s decision to stand by him.
To see the Lance Armstrong segment, start at approx 3 mins
The panelists aren’t experts on cycling but did a good job at analysing the Lance Armstrong brand. Jane Flemming (Olympian, commentator and sponsorship specialist) was the most knowledgable of the Lance Armstrong case from a sporting perspective, Hombre Howcroft gave us some good laughs, and it’s always interesting to hear Todd Sampson’s insights.
Lance never gave up his fight, he just cleverly decided that not contesting the USADA’s allegations was the best way he could win this battle. And I think it was a brilliant move. There will always be a shadow of doubt for his millions of believers. Will Armstrong keep a low profile for a while until the dust settles? Or will he take an agressive PR approach to win the the most important asset to his brand and legacy: public opinion.
Only time will tell how the Lance Armstrong brand will survive this, but with Tyler Hamilton’s tell-all book being released today we’re most certainly in for more leaks, scandals, and debate around the most polarising sports personality in the world.