UK: Coca-Cola GB ditches Rooney for Zero campaign
Wayne Rooney will no longer appear in Coca-Cola GB's Coke Zero campaign
Coca-Cola GB scrapped plans for a campaign featuring footballer Wayne Rooney, following allegations that he slept with prostitutes.
In a statement today (4 October), the soft drinks giant said the promotion had been cancelled, as it did not deem it "appropriate" due to the allegations surrounding the Manchester United and England footballer's personal life.
The campaign would have seen the football player's image on thousands of bottles and cans of Coca-Cola's no-sugar variant Coke Zero in a multi-million pound advertising deal due to run until 2011.
Coca-Cola GB signed up Manchester United and England football star Wayne Rooney in February for a push on its Powerade sports drink. Rooney has also supported Coke Zero since 2006, along with wife Coleen, as the company looked to push the brand as a drink for males and Diet Coke for females.
However, it is understood that Coca-Cola bosses in the US were "horrified and bewildered" at reports that the footballer slept with prostitutes while his wife was pregnant, and have requested that the London office sever all ties with the sports star.
A spokesperson for Coca-Cola GB said today: "Last month we amended our marketing plans on Coke Zero. Given the situation at that time we did not feel it was appropriate to run an on-pack promotion featuring Wayne Rooney.
"Our relationship with Wayne Rooney is ongoing," the spokesperson continued. "We are currently working with Wayne on Coke Zero Street Striker - an award-winning programme which over the past three years has encouraged thousands of young people to get involved in football.
"We are working on our marketing plans for 2011 and have no announcements to make at this time."
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