Erin Go Brand

The New York Times reports that a new ad campaign for the Sony Corporation of America features Peyton Manning, Justin Timberlake, and . . . Erin Andrews?

Mr. Manning returns to promote Bravia high-definition TV sets as the best on which to watch high-definition sports. He is joined by Erin Andrews, a reporter for the ESPN cable channel owned by the Walt Disney Company.

That would be Erin Andrews, star of a much-ogled Web video of her naked in a hotel room, which the news media feasted on for far too long.

But here’s the Times, back to business:

The [Sony] campaign is the first to feature Ms. Andrews of ESPN since the extensive publicity she received last month after video clips surfaced online from a tape made surreptitiously of her, undressed, in a hotel room.

(Of course, some might say “a tape allegedly made surreptitiously” – really, who irons in the nude – but why get technical about it?)

A Sony marketing exec put to rest the question of dumping Andrews by telling the Times she would “remain part of the campaign.”

The better question, though, is why ESPN allowed this in the first place. News Media Rule #1: Reporters don’t do commercials. That goes for sports reporters, too, despite the contention by certain media analysts (whose names I’ll withhold to protect the guilty, but you know who you are) that sports reporters aren’t real reporters.

The naked truth is, Erin Andrews just auctioned off her credibility.

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