ITV Sport Forces Bookmaker William Hill To Cut Robbie Savage Ad During FA Cup
BBC pundit Robbie Savage, "known as football’s Mr. Marmite" because of the way he polarises opinion, certainly was not rival broadcaster ITV Sport’s idea of "the right personality to promote" its FA Cup coverage, according to Charles Sale of the London DAILY MAIL. Bookmakers William Hill, which is sponsoring ITV’s FA Cup programming, has Savage as one of its top ambassadors. The proposed footage for its commercial break slots during this weekend’s FA Cup coverage had Savage "starring in Where’s Wally?-style clips" with Savage appearing on computer screens as a cardboard cut-out. ITV opposed Savage "receiving such ambush publicity" on its network and "quickly rejected the William Hill advertising, which has been changed in time for the third-round games." An ITV insider said: "We work closely with our sponsorship partners to ensure that all material meets the approval of both parties before broadcast." William Hill said: "We’re in discussion with ITV regarding the editorial content of our new sponsorship. This is a normal process within the terms of our deal" (DAILY MAIL, 1/2).