Friday, July 16, 2010

P&G Stock Tumbles After Web Video Surfaces

CINCINNATI, OH (Bloomberg) – Executives at Procter & Gamble (P&G) are in an uproar over a new YouTube video that appears to show Isaiah Mustafa, better know as “The Old Spice Guy” denigrating the product he famously pitches.

The ad campaign by the prestigious firm Wieden & Kennedy, which has become a huge hit with over 13 million views on YouTube features the attractive Mustafa in a towel explaining to women that their man can smell like him. As a result of the campaign, sales of P&G’s Old Spice Body Wash have increased over 300% in North America.

In the recently surfaced YouTube video, Mustafa is seen standing in line outside of an unidentified venue when he is approached by a female fan. Mustafa responds to an inaudible question by saying, “Old Spice smells [expletive] terrible. I would never wear it out in public. The pay is great, though.”

Release of the video and its dissemination Friday on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook have caused P&G stock to drop 20% to $48.56 per share. P&G succeeded in getting YouTube to remove the video.

“We have carefully studied the video and have determined it to be fake,” P&G spokeswoman Carol Fulton said. “The video’s creators used digital manipulation and a voiceover to make the video seem realistic. Our lawyers are looking into legal action.”

Mustafa could not be reached for comment, but his publicist Angela Stone released the following statement: “The YouTube video in question is a baseless attack on Isaiah. Since I’m a woman, I know for a fact that Isaiah uses Old Spice Body Wash because he wants to smell like a man. I buy Old Spice for my husband too. Although my husband does not look like Isaiah, I’m happy that he smells like him.”

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