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BIKELAND > FORUMS > ZX-14.com > Thread: Kawasaki backpedals on comments about 'Apprentice' sponsorship and Trump NEW TOPIC NEW POLL POST REPLY

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posted January 18, 2017 02:07 PM        
Kawasaki backpedals on comments about 'Apprentice' sponsorship and Trump


Kawasaki backpedals on comments about 'Apprentice' sponsorship and Trump

By Danielle Wiener-Bronner January 18, 2017 22:04PM EST
Kawasaki is backing away from its announcement that the company would not sponsor another episode of NBC's "The New Celebrity Apprentice" unless the reality show cuts ties with executive producer Donald Trump.
The motorbike maker said in a statement released late Wednesday that an earlier comment from a Kawasaki employee was "a misrepresentation of the company's position." Kawasaki said the employee was no longer working there.
"Throughout its 50-year history in the United States, Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., its subsidiaries and affiliates, have remained neutral in regards to American politics," Kawasaki said in a statement.

Earlier in the day, Kawasaki spokesman Kevin Allen said the company had "committed not to participate in the show so long as Mr. Trump does." He said the company is "acknowledging the concerns our consumers... have for the commercial connection Mr. Trump has with the show."
His comments were reported by CNNMoney, The New York Times and other news organizations.
Related: Trump trashes Arnold Schwarzenegger for 'Apprentice' ratings
Although Kawasaki later said the spokesperson had misrepresented its stance, it was unclear if the company was indeed halting future sponsorship of "The New Celebrity Apprentice" or if it was still involved. Kawasaki could not be immediately reached for further comment.
Kawasaki's product placement deal aired on Monday in the third episode of the current season of the reality show, hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger. In the episode, contestants competed to devise an advertising campaign for a new Kawasaki motorcycle. The Japanese company started receiving comments after a teaser clip featured the motorcycle.
Related: 'Celebrity Apprentice' ratings get no Trump bump, show loses to 'Bachelor'
In addition to customer complaints, the sponsorship deal earned Kawasaki a spot on the #GrabYourWallet list, a boycott campaign that keeps tabs on which companies are in business with the president-elect or members of his family.
"No company would like to be identified on a boycott list," Allen said.
A spokesperson for the president-elect did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Shannon Coulter, who co-founded the boycott campaign, tweeted on Wednesday that she's removed Kawasaki from her list in light of the company's decision. Kawasaki, she wrote, "reached out to say it 'would not sponsor the show again so as long as Mr. Trump is involved, including as an executive producer.'"

Allen said that Kawasaki struck the single-episode sponsorship deal back in fall of 2015, long before Trump became the Republican's presidential nominee, and before Kawasaki knew that he would retain an executive producer credit on the show. Kawasaki was informed at the time that Schwarzenegger would fill Trump's shoes as host.
MGM, which owns the show, could not be reached for comment.
The new season of "Apprentice" is underperforming when compared to the last season. An NBC ratings source explained that this season so far, "is averaging 4.4 million viewers overall." At this point last year, that figure was 6.2 million viewers.
-- Rob McLean contributed to this report.
January 18



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BIKELAND > FORUMS > ZX-14.com > Thread: Kawasaki backpedals on comments about \'Apprentice\' sponsorship and Trump NEW TOPIC NEW POLL POST REPLY

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