This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

10 Sleazy Celebrity Endorsements

Hulk Hogan/Troy Aikman
Hulk Hogan, perhaps the most famous pro wrestler of all time, has an undeniable blue-collar appeal. Ditto for his co-star in recent Rent-A-Center commercials, Troy Aikman, former quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys.

We are not going to pretend athletes -- real or make-believe -- should be held up as having particularly altruistic motivations. But still we have to wonder why, given all the endorsement opportunities they might have, they aren't more picky about the businesses they are associated with.

Rent-A-Center is hardly a fly-by-night operation. In business since 1986, it owns and operates more than 3,000 stores in 50 states, Washington, D.C., Canada, and Puerto Rico.

What gets the goat of many consumer advocates, however, is that its business model -- get that TV, computer or sofa you want for easy weekly payments -- encourages people to impulse-buy their way to a very bad loan, one with a triple-digit APR. That big-screen TV could end up costing you twice as much at the end of a contract, and that's not even including depreciation and the fact that better, less-expensive models may hit shelves before it's paid off. If it gets paid off. The company's own data show only one-fourth of customers actually complete a purchase.

Last year, Rent-A-Center agreed to a settlement with the attorney general of Washington state over its collection tactics. The company denied the state's allegations but agreed to a list of restrictions on its practices.

Among the accusations were "cussing at customers, pounding on doors, peering in windows and threatening arrest." The state presented testimony from customers who said employees seeking to collect on debt went so far as to attempt to kick in the door of a couple's home and told an 11-year-old autistic girl being baby-sat that her mom could be jailed for theft.

If you need a couch for two weeks between moves, great. But the rent-to-own options are financially reckless and targeted to a low-income audience. And that's something Hogan and Aikman, successful businessmen, should know better than to push on their fan base.

9 of 12

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
DFS $56.57 0.00%
HTZ $20.83 0.00%
KO $40.08 0.00%
MA $87.25 0.00%
NVO $53.84 0.00%

Markets

DOW 17,712.66 +34.43 0.19%
S&P 500 2,061.02 +4.87 0.24%
NASDAQ 4,891.2190 +27.8570 0.57%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs