O.J. Simpson named Worst Marketing Idea for 2nd Consecutive Year

Last year, you will recall, “The Juice” was at the center of Judith Regan’s down fall after she brilliantly decided to publish “I Did It,” his theoretical depiction of the murders that we’re sure he didn’t commit.

This year, Simpson is at the center of a marketing effort for “All-Pro Football 2K8,” from Take-Two Interactive Software the company behind “Grand Theft Auto” and “Manhunt 2.”

“All-Pro Football” features the likenesses of 240 retired National Football League players, including Simpson, whom game users can assign to fictional teams with preset names, one of which is “The Assassins.” As previewed on a Web site for video game promotional trailers, the team mascot is a hooded figure who makes stabbing motions with a large knife in the end zone when the Assassins score. Simpson does not have to be assigned to that team, but he was in a clip shown on the Game Trailers Web site.

Here’s the best part of the story, though:

Take-Two has declined to say how it obtained rights to Simpson’s name and likeness but said he was compensated. The company also has issued a statement saying the knife-wielding Assassins mascot is “not specifically associated with O.J. Simpson, and the game does not promote any such connection.”

Wow. Exactly what pharmaceuticals you have to be on to be able to write a statement like that? And when they wear off, how do you look yourself/wife/children in the eye? I’d rather work for a cigarette company.

The good news, such as there is, a judge has already ordered Simpson to cough up any cash he got from the deal. I wish he could issue a similar order against Take Two.