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Tag Heuer limits Tiger Woods images in its ads

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PORTLAND, Oregon (AP) — Swiss watch maker Tag Heuer will "downscale" its use of golfer Tiger Woods' image in its advertising campaigns for the foreseeable future.

The company said on Friday it will continue its relationship with Woods but was modifying its marketing programs in certain regions out of respect for his request for privacy.

How long the change lasts will depend on Woods' decision about returning to professional golf, the company said. Woods has been a pitchman for Tag Heuer since 2002.

The company said it will continue to support Woods' charitable foundation, which was based in Irvine, California.

After initially standing by Woods, the company moderated its support on Monday by saying it would assess its relationship with the world's highest-earning athlete.

The Swiss company, a unit of luxury goods empire LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, is at least the third sponsor to back away from Woods since his admission of extramarital "transgressions."

Consulting firm Accenture dropped Woods last Sunday, saying he was "no longer the right representative" of the company's values. Gillette, a unit of the Procter & Gamble Co., said over the weekend that it won't air ads for its razors that include Woods or include him in public appearances. AT&T said it was evaluating its relationship with the golf superstar.

Woods has taken an indefinite leave from golf to work on repairing his marriage after numerous allegations of infidelities that surfaced following a November car crash near his Florida home.

Tag Heuer did not specify in which markets it was curtailing use of Woods' image.


AP Sports Writer Graham Dunbar reported on this story from Geneva.


Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

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