Coke Zero ditches Wayne Rooney after sex allegations | inside World Soccer

Coke Zero ditches Wayne Rooney after sex allegations

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Coca-Cola announced Monday that it had dropped Wayne Rooney from its Coke Zero advertising campaign following accusations regarding the England forward's private life.

The image of the Manchester United ace was set to appear on new cans and bottles of Coke Zero drink until next year.

However, Coca-Cola decided that the campaign would no longer be appropriate, as lurid stories about Rooney's private life do not tie in with the brand's wholesome family image.

Last month, a number of UK tabloid newspapers alleged that Rooney slept with prostitutes while his wife, Coleen, was five months pregnant with their son Kai, who turns one next month.

"Last month we amended our ­marketing plans on Coke Zero," Coca-Cola said in a statement.

"Given the situation at that time we did not feel it was appropriate to run an on-pack promotion ­featuring Wayne Rooney."

However, the world's largest soft drink maker said that it will continue to use the 24-year-old for other forms of promotion.

The statement continued: "Our relationship with Wayne Rooney is ongoing. 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 announcement to make at this time."

Rooney is believed to earn £600,000 a year in sponsorship from the soft-drinks giant. The company has used the player to endorse the product since 2007.

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