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Tag Heuer to drop Tiger Woods from U.S. campaigns

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Swiss watch maker Tag Heuer said Friday that it will "downscale" its use of golfer Tiger Woods' image in its advertising campaigns for the foreseeable future.

The company said it will continue its relationship with Woods but is modifying its marketing programs in certain regions out of respect for his request for privacy.

How long the change last will depend on Woods' decision about returning to professional golf, the company said. Woods has been a pitchman for Tag Heuer since 2002.

The company said it will continue to support Woods' charitable foundation, which is based in Irvine, Calif.

After initially standing by Woods, the company moderated its support Monday by saying it would assess its relationship with the world's highest-earning athlete.

The Swiss company, a unit of luxury goods empire LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, is at least the third sponsor to back away from Woods since his admission of extramarital "transgressions."

Consulting firm Accenture dropped the athlete Sunday, saying he was "no longer the right representative" of the company's values. Gillette, a unit of the Procter & Gamble Co., said over the weekend that it won't air ads for its razors that include Woods or include him in public appearances. AT&T said it is evaluating its relationship with the golf superstar.

Woods has taken an indefinite leave from golf to work on repairing his marriage after numerous allegations of infidelities that surfaced following a November car crash near his Florida home.

Tag Heuer did not specify in which markets it was curtailing use of Woods' image.

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AP Sports Writer Graham Dunbar reported on this story from Geneva, Switzerland.

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