Stoute, you'll recall, is the advertising executive who made a career of connecting the white corporate world with all things hip-hop, a.k.a. "urban," a.k.a. black. His work putting Chris Brown and Wrigley gum together was a shady-looking disaster even before Brown's apparent beating of Rihanna, since Brown wrote a gum endorsement into his hit song without telling fans until after the fact.
Soute said on MSNBC the other day (see clip above) that Brown can get through his big image problem: "We've seen brands move past this before, and celebrities move past this." Indeed: Kobe Bryant beat that rape accusation, as Stoute points out. And some of Brown's fans sound downright eager to get past the Rihanna incident.
But this time there is awful photographic evidence. And the apparent victim doesn't look like she's about to forgive. Brown's not going to get out of this without some sort of catalyst.
A catalyst, let's say, involving someone like Stoute, advertising business partner of reported onetime Brown-hater and Rihanna protecter Jay-Z, going on national television and saying Brown is something other than an unredeemable pariah.