The U.S. Army is working double-time to create a new set of recruitment ads to air during the NCAA’s Final Four basketball games this weekend, after those originally featuring actor Jonathan Majors were scrapped in the wake of his weekend arrest.
Disney-Marvel star Majors was destined to be a center piece in the ads as a key part of a push at reviving the service’s struggling recruiting numbers — which fell far short of their enlistment goal in 2022.
They believed the ads would capitalize on Majors’ popularity coming off his recent movies Creed III and Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania — hoping it would engage the youth audience.
Now the scramble is on to find a replacement after the ads were summarily scrapped when Majors was arrested in New York on charges of strangulation, assault and harassment, as Breitbart News reported.
New York City police alleged the actor was involved in a domestic dispute with a 30-year-old woman. The victim reportedly sustained minor injuries to the neck and was taken to the hospital.
Actor Jonathan Majors, star of Creed III and Ant-Man: Quantumania, has been arrested in New York for allegedly assaulting a woman. https://t.co/GJJcqErM7z
— Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) March 26, 2023
But a lawyer for Majors maintains he is “completely innocent.” Priya Chaudhry has said there is evidence clearing him and the actor “is provably the victim of an altercation with a woman he knows.”
Maj. Gen. Alex Fink, head of Army marketing, told the Associated Press (AP) in the past week the Army was able to avoid any financial loss of of the planned $70 million advertising buy, either by postponing ads or replacing them with other pre-existing commercials that were quickly updated.
The ads were set to appear on television, online on places such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and on digital and physical billboards, including on buses. That ad purchase was the main portion of the campaign, which had a total cost of $117 million, AP set out.
“We are absolutely able to utilize a majority of what we have invested,” Fink said in an interview. “We think that we’ll have some brand new creative ads in time for the Women’s Final Four on Friday.”
As Breitbart News reported on Sunday, the U.S. Army pulled a revamped “Be All You Can Be” ad campaign featuring Majors in the wake of the charges.
In a statement, Laura DeFrancisco, the public affairs chief for the Army Enterprise Marketing Office, said the U.S. Army moved after they became aware of the allegation.
“The U.S. Army is aware of the arrest of Jonathan Majors and we are deeply concerned by the allegations surrounding his arrest,” said DeFrancisco. “While Mr. Majors is innocent until proven guilty, prudence dictates that we pull our ads until the investigation into these allegations is complete.”
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