In an era where soccer greats are in the news for pushing away colas, a beedi brand has gone ahead and printed soccer great Lionel Messi’s photo on its pack.
The beedi packet bearing the Bengali script has lit up the internet with various memes and comments on Messi’s first Indian endorsement.
Sometime back Messi’s image cropped up in graffiti paintings across the national capital. It was part of Budweiser’s marketing campaign. The move drew flak for “advertising in the name of street art” and promoting an alcohol brand. What made matters worse is that one of the murals was painted on a school building facade.
The packaging of the beedi brand in question came to light as netizens are started talking about it. Some took the humour route to address the issue.
Celebrities finding themselves on unlikely promotional material and packaging is not new. Many a hair salon uses stock images of celebrities in their dapper haircuts to advertise its wares and services. While it may make for a funny meme or Twitter banter, the latest occurrence brings to light the lack of awareness about legalities around copyright, trademark, and endorsement deals.
We all remember the fiasco that was former 007 actor Pierce Brosnan’s endorsement of Pan Bahar, a paan masala brand.
Messi has spent his entire career to date on Barca’s books, having initially made his debut for the club as a teenager in 2004, but dropped into the free agency pool at the start of July after reaching the end of his contract.
Messi earned a staggering €550 million (£468m/$650m) over the course of his last five-year contract at Camp Nou, which equates to around €75m (£64m/$89m) per season.
The Argentine won’t be embarking on a new challenge away from Camp Nou anytime soon, though, with the Blaugrana set to announce that they have tied the six-time Ballon d’Or winner down to a fresh long-term deal. The advertisement raised a lot of eyebrows, and resulted in multiple memes on the internet. Brosnan claimed that he was cheated into signing the deal since the brand did not disclose the harmful nature of its product.