Has Tiger Woods proven endorsements don’t really work?

Do endorsements by athletes or famous people really improve sales? Tiger’s recent revelations may provide the proof. There is no doubt; Tiger Woods is/was one of the highest paid celebrities for his endorsements. The immediate cancelation of his endorsements should give a very good benchmark to the marketers whether endorsements still pay.
I don’t really know when endorsements by famous people started, but it has proliferated since the late 19th century. This is probably because of the beginning of mass production. Before the advent of tabloid journalism, the more ‘human’ side of celebrity athletes, movie stars and politicians were squelched by the ‘handlers’ of these celebrities. People believed the athlete was clean and wholesome; the movie star was identical to the part they played on screen and the politician (at least their politician) was honorable and truthful. People believed their doctor when he said ‘Kool Cigarettes’ were good for a cough and since 135,000 doctors smoked ‘Chesterfield Cigarettes’ they must be alright to smoke. Ted Williams, Bats, Mickey Mantle Gloves and many other endorsed items must be good for these famous people and athletes to associate their good names with these products.
Today, I believe most people are smart enough to realize these people endorse these products for one reason only… money, and lots of it. So answer me these questions. Does an endorsement by a famous person effect your decision whether or not to purchase a product? If a similar product, not endorsed by a celebrity, were for sale at a lesser price; would you buy it?
I’m sure there is some increase in sales for endorsed over non-endorsed products, but is it enough to justify the huge payments to these celebrities? This is something that can be determined very easily with the Tiger Woods endorsements. Since the advertisements with his endorsements have been removed and not immediately replaced by other endorsements, this should give a good benchmark for how much his endorsement really helped. If the advertising agencies and marketing departments are paying attention, they may find a way to increase their bottom line in this economy. Unfortunately, this may be disastrous to young upcoming athletes, especially Olympic athletes. Hopefully, even if it proves that endorsements don’t really increase sales, products like, Nike, Wheaties, and others will at least use our amateur athletes for endorsements. Professionals, movie stars and politicians can fend for themselves.
Please let me know what you think and please participate in the poll in the left column.