Carlisle: Phelps Didn't Violate IOC Rules With Leaked Louis Vuitton Ad
Octagon Managing Dir of Olympic & Action Sports Peter Carlisle, who reps retired Gold Medal-winning U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps, on Friday “dismissed any suggestion” that Phelps may have violated IOC rules “when provocative pictures” for a Louis Vuitton campaign were leaked on Aug. 13, according to Paul Newberry of the AP. The IOC's Rule 40 “prohibits athletes from promoting non-official sponsors during a nearly monthlong period around the games.” Carlisle said that there is “no issue with the IOC because Phelps did not authorize use of the pictures, which were leaked by a source that still isn't known and appeared on several Web sites.” Carlisle: "He didn't violate Rule 40, it's as simple as that. All that matters is whether the athlete permitted that use. That's all he can control. In this case, Michael did not authorize that use. The images hadn't even been reviewed, much less approved.” Meanwhile, Carlisle indicated that he “expects his client to still be a force in the world of marketing.” He said that fans can “look no further" than the Louis Vuitton campaign, in which Phelps "is following other iconic figures such as Sean Connery, Bono and Mikhail Gorbachev” (AP, 8/17). Rule 40 came under fire from several Olympians during the London Games, and Navigate Research President A.J. Maestas said, “I understand the need for these athletes to tweet their sponsors and to get them recognition, but in the greater picture there is no Olympic Games without these TOP sponsors. So it’s a Catch-22 to be honest.” Meanwhile, Maestas added, “Whether it was on purpose or accident, this is one of the best things that could have happened to Louis Vuitton because people will now associate Louis Vuitton with Michael Phelps” (“CBS This Morning,” CBS, 8/20).