Kellogg to Drop Olympian Phelps

Will Let Endorsement Deal Expire at Month's End

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Michael Phelps
Michael Phelps

CHICAGO ( -- One bong hit seen around the world, and Olympian Michael Phelps is watching at least one contract go up in smoke. Kellogg will let the swimmer's contract expire at the end of the month.

"We originally built the relationship with Michael, as well as the other Olympic athletes, to support our association with the U.S. Olympic team," a Kellogg spokeswoman said in a statement. "Michael's most recent behavior is not consistent with the image of Kellogg. His contract expires at the end of February and we have made a decision not to extend his contract."

Kellogg also decided not to renew its Olympic Team sponsorship, which expired in December 2008.

Mr. Phelps behavior was the second black eye for Kellogg, which snagged Mr. Phelps after the Olympics, tying him into an exclusive-for-cereal deal, and keeping him off the Wheaties box.

General Mills didn't have to wait long for its comeuppance. Just three months later, Anderson Cooper raided Mr. Phelps' cabinets as part of a "60 Minutes" interview and found a box of Honey Nut Cheerios.

Mr. Phelps also has a lucrative deal with Subway, which has declined to comment on the matter. The chain has a campaign featuring the athlete ready for the airwaves. At this point, the work seems likely to be delayed.

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