Endorsements, Sports, and Misleading Advertising
Patrick Byers’ Responsible Marketing blog quite correctly calls attention to Pfizer’s Lipitor ads featuring artificial heart inventor Robert Jarvik–only, it turns out, in the ads featuring “Jarvik” rowing or doing other highly physical activities, it’s a professional athlete, a body double.
There are times you could make a case that using an endorser’s double is legitimate–but not, IMHO, when you’re advertising a product for the greater physical endurance it supposedly provides, having an internationally known cardiologist endorsing it, and you replace a man who is “about as much an outdoorsman as Woody Allen. He can’t row” with an undisclosed professional athlete.
Byers implies that this is not ethical–and I agree with his assessment.