The Danish advertisement bureau McCann Copenhagen has been forced to pull a World Cup advertisement film that it produced for betting site Ladbrokes after the archbishop of Rio de Janeiro threatened to sue.
The ad, entitled ‘Iconic Celebration’, was pulled after the bishop took exception to the advert portraying the iconic Cristo Redentor statue in Rio wearing a red Ladbrokes football shirt over its head as if celebrating a goal.
“We are quite surprised by the developments,” Silas Jansson and Cliff Holm, the two ad people behind the video, told Metroexpress newspaper.
“We had in no way envisioned that the film would offend anyone. It was not an attempt to lock horns with the church.”
It seems like the ad agency made the right decision in pulling the advert, because the archbishop has sued the Italian TV station Rai for up to 115 million kroner for a similar advertisement video, according to a number of international media sources.
“A compensation amount of that order would be sufficient to close us down, so we are pleased that we decided to pull the video and that the bishop decided to focus on the Italians,” the two ad people said.
Ladbrokes has desperately tried to completely quash the film, but it was duplicated while it was still active and can be seen on YouTube.