Jacko's poor image discouraged sponsors

2013-07-30 14:28
michael jackson
Los Angeles - Michael Jackson's dismal public image in his final years meant his final concert series had no sponsors, despite record advance ticket sales for the 50 planned shows, a witness said on Monday.

The testimony of Eric Briggs, of FTI Consulting, opened the 14th week of the Jackson family's lawsuit against concert promoters AEG LIve.

The King of Pop's mother, Katherine, and his children, are suing AEG for negligence, blaming the company for causing his death in 2009.

They accuses AEG Live of pushing Jackson too hard as he rehearsed in Los Angeles for the This is It comeback concert series in London and of negligently hiring doctor Conrad Murray to look after him.

Image had deteriorated

Murray was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2011 over Jackson's 25 June 2009 death from an overdose of the surgical anaesthetic propofol, administered to help the 50-year-old singer with chronic insomnia.

They are demanding $1.5bn in damages - the amount their expert estimates Jackson would have earned from the concert and a worldwide tour if he had lived.

But Briggs, a defence witness, argued against this estimate on Monday at the Los Angeles Superior Court.

He emphasised that the pop icon's image had deteriorated greatly in the years leading up to his death on 25 June 2009 - so much so that no company agreed to sponsor his final tour - even though the 50 London shows sold out within hours.

New scandals could emerge

"Brand companies appreciate artists can be great performers, but that doesn't mean they want to put their names next to the performers," Briggs said.

According to him, Jackson's image rebounded somewhat in the 1990s, but it plummeted again in 2003 for several reasons, most notably the accusations he molested young boys.

For big-name labels, Jackson was a risk, because new scandals could emerge without warning, Briggs explained, and "brands are looking for predictability".

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.