An oxymoron you say? Well, the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback - who got sent away for organizing a dog-fighting ring and has been conditionally reinstated by the NFL and cleared to play in October - will be working with The Humane Society of the U.S.on an anti dogfighting community-based program. Talk about an interesting celebrity marketing tactic by a major nonprofit.
In a recent interview, Humane Society (THS) president and CEO Wayne Pacelle said the organization's goal is not to flog Vick endlessly, but to give him a platform to get anti dogfighting information into the streets of Atlanta and Chicago where tens of thousands of kids are getting into this activity. Vick will commit to two events a month in THS's community-based program.
Pacelle made it very clear that Vick will not be a spokesperson for THS; there are no PSAs planned and no celebrity appearances. The Humane Society has actually been Vick's most outspoken critics. Pacelle added that," Only his [Vick's] deeds we're going to measure."
At a time when nonprofits seem to be increasing their celebrity partnerships - to engage with their missions and in cause marketing campaigns - what do you think about this atypicaL use of Vick's celebrity at The Humane Society? Has he paid his debt to society and now his fans should accept his "community service" outreach? Has The Humane Society made a good branding decsision?
Check out THS video on this issue with Pacelle's rationale for embracing Vick:
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