A representative for Wrangler who has been handling the Brett Favre situation called the manager of Jenn Sterger, who the quarterback allegedly sent racy text and voice messages to when she was a Jets employee.
CNBC reached out to Phil Reese of PR/PR, who counts Sterger as a client, and asked him if anyone from Wrangler had been in touch.
Reese acknowledged that Rick French, chairman and CEO of French West Vaughn, the public relations firm that has been working for the jeans brand, called him last week to discuss strategy.
“He reached out to me to take my temperature on the situation,” Reese said.
Reese said he told French he wouldn’t disclose anything about Sterger and Favre, but offered his opinion.
“Rick was highly concerned about the situation, as Wrangler has a lot of money invested in Favre,” Reese said. “I told him that I thought pulling all the ads would have been a mistake because it would make it more of a story.”
French acknowledged the dialogue took place.
"Phil and I spoke as part of our due diligence regarding the allegations,” French said, via e-mail. “He offered his opinion the allegations did not rise to a level that would warrant Wrangler pulling its ads. I told him I appreciated his honesty and candor."
“Phil and I spoke as part of our due diligence regarding the allegations,” French said, via e-mail. “He offered his opinion the allegations did not rise to a level that would warrant Wrangler pulling its ads. I told him I appreciated his honesty and candor.”
When we noticed that fewer Favre commercials ran on Sunday, we called French to ask whether the company had scaled back the ads. French told CNBC that the decision to run fewer ads was made before the season to save money for the holiday season.
“If I were in his position, I would have told the general public that Wrangler was scaling back on the ads because they were taking a wait and see approach,” Reese said. “People are smart enough to realize what you’re doing when Favre spots are running on Monday Night Football and then all of sudden you’re running them during ‘Weekend At Bernie’s II” at four in the morning.”
When asked, on a scale of 1-10, how surprised he was that an official working with Wrangler reached out to him, Reese said “Eleven.”
On its earnings conference call this morning, an official with VF Corp., the parent company of Wrangler, said the jean brand's market share was growing.
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