UPDATE (27 June 2013): Novo Nordisk “Dumps” … err, “Suspends” Deen:

“Novo Nordisk and Paula Deen have mutually agreed to suspend our patient education activities for now, while she takes time to focus her attention where it is needed.

Novo Nordisk would like to acknowledge Paula’s involvement in our Diabetes in a New Light™ campaign, where she has helped make many people aware of type 2 diabetes and the lifestyle changes needed to control this serious disease.”

By now everyone should know that Paula Deen — celebrity chef and Novo Nordisk’s Victoza diabetes drug spokesperson — admitted in a videotaped deposition as part of a discrimination suit that “Yes, of course,” she has used the “N” word.

As a result, the Food Network has opted not to continue her contract. Should Novo also “dump Deen?”

Some time ago, before this latest Deen PR fiasco erupted, I asked if the Novo Nordisk deal with Paula Deen was “Brilliant or Dumb?” (see here). To date, the responses are evenly split between “brilliant” and “dumb.” If you haven’t already taken this poll, here it is again:

From a marketing perspective, is the Novo Nordisk deal with Paula Deen Brilliant or Dumb?
It remains to be seen.


You can also listen to a 2-minute audio snippet of my interview of Ambre Morley, Associate Director, Product Communications, Novo Nordisk, in which she talks about vetting Paula Deen as a paid celebrity spokesperson for the Novo’s Victoza diabetes drug franchise and the importance of measuring celebrity return on investment (ROI). Listen here.

In light of all the new negative publicity and comments surrounding Deen (see videos below), perhaps Deen’s ROI has reached a point of diminishing returns and Novo should dump her immediately — I hope there is a clause in her contract with Novo that permits this before the contract expires.

Here are a couple of brilliant Daily Show pieces about Deen and the N word (I did not know that her family once owned 35 slaves — “That’s a lot,” says Deen. But at least it’s less than the number of slaves owned by Thomas Jefferson.):

Meanwhile, here’s Deen’s strangely edited “apology”: