ICL: Indian Cricket League

Fans force suspension of World Cup ad campaigns


A leading Pakistani bank has suspended a high profile publicity campaign featuring cricketers Younis Khan and Shahid Afridi after billboards and posters were defaced in Karachi.

Habib Bank, which employs several other top players, launched the campaign with big billboards, posters and commercials on television to coincide with the World Cup. Pakistan were eliminated in the first round of the World Cup after losing to West Indies and debutants Ireland.

“We decided to suspend this campaign because of the prevailing mood and after some of our billboards and posters were defaced,” Abdul Raquib, a senior bank official said. Pakistan players have had to face angry fans who have burnt their effigies and taken out mock processions to mourn the World Cup debacle.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has also constituted a committee to investigate the reasons for the poor performance with captain Inzamam-ul-Haq appearing before it on Thursday and blaming senior players for the debacle.

Afridi said people had a right to be upset with the team. “We played badly in the World Cup. But there must be a limit to venting their anger,” he said.

The angry reaction of fans has also led to a multinational soft drinks company dumping a campaign that featured former World Cup-winning captain, Imran Khan, Inzamam, Waqar Younis and other players.

Sarmad Ali, a former President of the Pakistan Advertisers Association, said many companies had pulled their World Cup campaigns and were replacing cricketers with singers and film actors as their brand ambassadors.

Ali said companies who were banking on a good performance from the Pakistan team to promote their brands had suffered losses. “I don’t know the exact figures but they are substantial in our market terms,” he said.

Source:The News

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This entry was posted on Saturday, April 7th, 2007 and is filed under Cricket, Cricket Stars, World Cup.

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