5 More Ad Pitchmen Who Fell Out of Favor

4 minute read

Correction appended, July 9

It’s been 15 years since Indiana native Jared Fogle lost 200 pounds by way of 6-inch Subway turkey subs, launching his fame as the face of the salad-and-sandwich franchise.

But on Tuesday, Subway suspended its relationship with Fogle faster than you can say “Eat Fresh” when federal law enforcement raided his house for evidence following the May arrest of the executive director of his foundation on pornography charges. The Subway pitchman has not been arrested, and is cooperating with authorities.

Unfortunately, Fogle isn’t the first face of a brand to fall out of their employer’s good books. TIME has put together a handful of the most notable, for reasons ranging from pot possession to off-color jokes:

“Dude, you’re getting a Dell” Steve

Now 35-years-old, Ben Curtis caught his big break in the early 2000s as Slacker Steve, the enthusiastic, stoner-esque star of Dell television commercials whose two foremost loves seemed to be Dell computers and the word “dude.” Curtis starred in 26 different commercials for the PC giant between 2000 and 2003—popularizing the catchphrase “Dude, you’re getting a Dell!”—at which point the then-NYU student was busted buying weed on New York City’s Lower East Side and fired from his acting gig.

The Voice of the Aflac Duck

Comedian Gilbert Gottfried had a famous eleven-year stint with insurance company Aflac as the voice of the company duck, whose most famous line was simply, “Aflac!” But when the notoriously boundary-crossing comedian took to Twitter in March 2011 to make jokes about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the Georgia-based insurance giant got into a flap and sacked him within the hour. In the 2005 commercial above, Gottfried tarred as both the Aflac duck and his owner.

The Geico Narrator

D.C. Douglas, a voiceover actor for Geico commercials, admitted to the Washington Post that he’d been a “doofus” back in 2010 after he left an inflammatory voice message for FreedomWorks, a Washington advocacy group closely tied to the Tea Party. Douglas was immediately fired from his most lucrative voice gig, and later made a spoof PSA entitled “Don’t Drunk Dial FreedomWorks.” In his voice message, Douglas asked FreedomWorks how many “mentally retarded” people they employed and what they planned to do when one of their members “does actually kill somebody.”

The “ShamWow” Guy

Israeli-American infomercial star Vince Offer, better known as the “ShamWow Guy,” rose to moderate fame in 2007 as the “jerky” face of a 8-for-$19.95 towel so absorbent it could hold ten times its weight in liquid. But when, two years later, Offer was arrested for striking a Miami prostitute who allegedly tried to bite off his tongue, audiences were less charmed by his rough-around-the-edges demeanor. Needless to say, Offer’s ShamWow days are over—but it seems he hasn’t given up on infomercials entirely.

Kevin Trudeau, Infomercial King

Motivational speaker and infomercial king Kevin Trudeau made big money over the past two decades as the face of his own brand, a range of self-help books including the 2005 bestseller “The Weight Loss Cure ‘They’ Don’t Want You to Know About.” But he also racked up some huge fines—$37.6 million, to be exact—for making false health claims, and in March 2014, landed himself a 10-year prison sentence for lying in his infomercials. Trudeau may have been the pitchman of his own products, but his face certainly won’t get much play from behind bars.

Correction: The original version of this story misstated the name of the voiceover actor in Geico commercials. He is D.C. Douglas.

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