State Of Origin Campaign Featuring Gallen Abandoned After Drug Scandal
New South Wales skipper Paul Gallen has been "removed from a major State of Origin advertising campaign amid uncertainty" over how deeply the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigation will affect his club side, Cronulla, according to Josh Massoud of the DAILY TELEGRAPH. Along with Maroons opposite Cameron Smith, Gallen last year "headlined an Origin-themed promotion in bottleshops in NSW and Queensland on behalf of major brewery CUB." However, his management approached CUB this month to advise that Gallen "would not be available this year." A source close to Galllen said, "With everything that's going on at Cronulla, they thought it was best that no Sharks player should feature." Blues hooker Robbie Farah "was summoned to replace Gallen during the photo shoot" with Smith in the past week. When contacted last night, CUB said the decision to replace Gallen "would not affect its commercial relationship with the 31-year-old." Although he will not feature in the VB campaign, Gallen remains an ambassador for the label and the brewery has "every intention of calling upon his future services" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 3/22). In Sydney, Proszenko & Jackson wrote there were suggestions on Wednesday night that the brewer had already shot a A$750,000 ($783,000) campaign, "but opted for another figurehead, Farah, who will now appear with opposing Queensland hooker Cameron Smith in the promotional material." Gallen reportedly stepped down. However, it is understood the brewery giant had "serious concerns about being linked to the growing scandal" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 3/22).