Charlie Sheen has been dominating the headlines of major celebrity gossip publications and website as of late after he revealed he was HIV positive on the Today show earlier this month. He’s now facing numerous lawsuits from ex-lovers who claim they were unaware of his condition – not to mention the media backlash from the announcement.
Sheen’s situation may have also forced Fiat to change some of its marketing plans for the recently released 2017 124 Spider. According to Jalopnik sources, Sheen filmed a commercial for the 124 Spider at Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles recently and the spot was shown to dealers and other individuals involved in Fiat promotions. After his announcement, however, the ad appears to have disappeared.
Jalopnik dug up a piece from reporter Paul Eisenstein of The Detroit Bureau briefly describing the ad, writing the ad shows Sheen “tearing up the highway in one of the new Fiat 124 Spiders.” However now Fiat now seems reluctant to even acknowledge its existence – but whether its reasoning is related to Sheen’s illness or simply that the ad hasn’t aired yet remains to be seen.
“As you know, Charlie Sheen was featured in the “House Arrest” spot for the Fiat Abarth a few years ago – he is a friend of the FIAT brand,” a spokesperson for Fiat told Jalopnik in a written statement. “At this time, there is no plan for any FIAT creative outside of “House Arrest” that may feature Charlie Sheen to run on-air or online.”
Fiat later added that it “does not reveal any potential Super Bowl creative until it debuts on-air the day of the game,” potentially hinting that we may see the ad a later date. The automaker also said chief marketing officer Olivier Francois likes to keep a “drawer,” full of creative material and return to it only when needed.
Fiat doesn’t seem scared of Sheen’s bad boy image, having partnered with the party-loving star in 2012 for the aforementioned ‘House Arrest’ 500 Abarth ad. That commercial (above) even played up Sheen’s image by depicting him as being under house arrest, so we know Fiat isn’t scared of any potential backlash by hiring on the controversial star. We could still see the Sheen/124 Spider commercial, but for now, it’s missing-in-action.