Adverts featuring Tiger Woods disappeared from prime-time television broadcasts in the United States amid lurid allegations about the golfer’s private life, it emerged tonight.
The world’s number one golfer landed a series of lucrative marketing endorsements on the back of his clean-cut image.
But the star has since seen his reputation tarnished as a string of women have come forward to claim having affairs with him.
Now Nielsen, a New York-based consumer research company, has produced a study that shows Woods has not appeared in a prime time television commercial in the United Stated since a November 29 Gillette advert.
According to reports, the last Gillette advert featuring Woods ran during NBC’s Football Night in America broadcast.
It was shown eight times last month – all during American football matches on NBC and ESPN.
Scrutiny of the private life of Woods, 33, has been intense since he crashed his car into a fire hydrant and tree on November 27.
Yesterday, Gatorade became the first company to drop its endorsement of Woods since his wholesome image was hit following the crash and subsequent revelations.
But the firm, owned by PepsiCo, told reporters the decision to discontinue its Tiger Woods sports drink product was “made months ago”.
In a statement, the firm said: “We decided several months ago to discontinue Gatorade Tiger Focus along with some other products to make room for our planned series of innovative products in 2010.”
The latest twist in the almost two-week old drama came yesterday when Woods’ mother-in-law was taken to hospital in Florida complaining of stomach pains.
In a recording of the emergency call released by police, a woman can be heard in a panicked voice relaying how the woman had collapsed and needed medical attention.
Barbro Holmberg, mother of Woods’ Swedish wife Elin Nordegren, was taken to Health Central Hospital in Ocoee, Florida, following the arrival of an ambulance crew.
The 57-year-old was released the same day and went back to the golfer’s home, where it is thought she remained today.
She has been staying there for the past few days after flying from her native Sweden.
It is thought that Ms Holmberg is staying in Florida to support her daughter while the couple deal with a string of extra-marital affair claims.
In the call released by police a woman can be heard saying: “My mum just collapsed.
“She collapsed in the bathroom, what do I do?”
The emergency operator responded: “Calm down, OK. What is the address? Is she breathing? They’re coming, OK. Calm down for a minute so I can understand what’s happening.”
A child is heard crying in the background and the caller later explains that Ms Holmberg fainted and fell but now appears to be “fine”.
The operator added: “We’d rather come check her and check her vitals to make sure everything is OK.”
Dan Yates, a spokesman for the hospital later announced that Ms Holmberg’s condition was not serious and she was released about 11 hours after arriving.
Woods was left bloodied and dazed following the crash outside his luxury home.
Medical records listed the reason for his admission to hospital as suspected “OD”, shorthand for overdose, according to showbiz website TMZ.com.
It also reported he was having trouble breathing and that Ms Nordegren gave paramedics two pill bottles, muscle relaxant Ambien and painkiller Vicodin, at the accident scene.
Woods was admitted under the alias William Smith, the website said.
Questions remain over what led to the accident.
It has been speculated that reports of an affair with New York nightclub hostess Rachel Uchitel prompted to a confrontation with his wife shortly before he got into his SUV car that morning.
Since the crash, a number of other women have come forward with claims of affairs with the golfer.
One, cocktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs, went as far as releasing a phone message reported to be from Woods asking her to cover up over the alleged affair.
Woods has not commented directly on the allegations.
But last week he apologised for letting his family down and said he was dealing with his “behaviour and personal failings”.
A statement posted on his website referred to “personal sins” and “transgressions”.
“I am not without fault and I am far short of perfect,” it added.