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SBD Global/June 21, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Ferdinand In Asian Sports Ad, Linked To Cigarette Company

ManU footballer Rio Ferdinand has "come under fire" for his participation in a local advertising campaign linked to Indonesian cigarette company Gudang Garam Int'l, according to Natasha Nurjadin of the JAKARTA GLOBE. Ferdinand appeared on billboards and in 30-second commercials in Indonesia promoting GGI's internet-based sports channel, Intersport, which broadcasts Premier League football in Asia. He wore a "jersey with the cigarette company's logo on it." ManU Media Manager Karen Shotbolt said that Ferdinand "does not endorse any cigarettes," however, he did sign a contract with GGI that is valid until Oct. 31, "at which time all advertising will cease" (JAKARTA GLOBE, 6/19). In London, Chris Richards cited a Ferdinand spokesperson who said that the player, "who does not smoke, was advertising the sports channel" and "was unaware that GGI makes much of its profits from tobacco or that his image would be used on billboards which carry the cigarette brand logo." The spokesperson added that Ferdinand "was consulting lawyers about the use of his image in the campaign" (DAILY MAIL, 6/17).
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