Comment catches fire on social media, around paid brand promotions in some cases.
Charles Barkley's Weight Watchers spokesperson gig is not in peril. This despite a viral video going around Twitter, Facebook, and countless message boards that involve him calling Weight Watchers "a scam." His comment was caught in a commercial break during TNT's pro basketball broadcast of the Miami vs. Atlanta game on Thursday night, and then it was posted to YouTube by a user with the handle "giveittome".
On Friday, both camps responded with statements that put a positive spin on Barkley's remarks, which many online viewers interpreted as negative.
Weight Watchers said, "We love Charles for the same reason everyone loves Charles, he's unfiltered. We are thrilled that he is having great success and inspiring millions of men to join him. We agree that being a spokesman for Weight Watchers is a pretty great gig."
Barkley stated, "I meant what I said, the fact that I’m dropping pounds, getting healthier and getting paid at the same time, is my definition of a great scam. The only problem is I’m going to have to use some of the money to buy a new wardrobe."
At the same time, Weight Watchers probably wouldn't mind having some of the money it spent on Promoted Tweets today back. Twitter users searching "Charles Barkley" or "Weight Watchers" have been seeing a paid promotion for the brand's two-week-old "Lose Like A Man" campaign.
Twitter user comments highlighting the "scam" remark often littered the news feed below the Promoted Tweets. Here are some of the comments:
Thinking He’s Off Air, Charles Barkley Says His Weight WatchersEndorsement Is A Big Scam
New Weight Watchers pitchman Charles Barkley calls diet a "scam." http://bit.ly/y4Cynz. But $WTW up 8%! I hope Sir Charles wasn't shorting.
(Video) NBA: Charles Barkley Caught Saying Weight WatchersEndorsement Is A Scam?!
On YouTube as of late Friday afternoon, the Barkley video had received 48,000 views and 158 comments.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
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