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    September 22, 2004

    Brett Lee joined Irfan Pathan and Sourav Ganguly on the ambush marketing guilty list after the ACB stepped in asking an Australian telecom company to stop using Lee in their promotions. I agree that the ICC is right to clamp down on ambush marketing when the cricketers have agreed to support them, unlike the situation before/during the World Cup when the ICC just decided to go ahead without getting a buy-in from the players.

    However, the ICC and players must also ensure that the official sponsors act with dignity. If you've seen the recent Pepsi commercial, I'm sure you'll agree it is quite disgusting. A boy carries a crate of Pepsi listening to the cricket on the radio. He hears a wicket fall and immediately gets into a tunnel. Meanwhile at the ground, the Indian team is getting into its famous post-wicket huddle and gradually moving together around the ground. Suddenly the boy emerges from underneath the grass and the team enjoys the Pepsi. Sourav asks him "Ek aur Pepsi milega?" to which he replies "Ek aur wicket milega?". Then as he gets back on the road, he realizes that another wicket has fallen and his crate is empty.

    It was really disgusting watching it. It implies that the Indian team goes into a huddle to drink Pepsi and that it'll take wickets if there's Pepsi available. Even more disgusting is the fact that several members of the Indian team are part of the commercial. Their presence obviously lends credence to what the advertisement is trying to say. If ambush marketing is bad for the game, so is marketing of this nature. It demeans the game, it demeans the Indian cricket team. If people in the team are part of this advertisement, it means that they arent aware or understanding about what an Indian bowler taking a wicket means to the a billion Indian cricket fans. If Pepsi keeps airing this commercial, it doesnt deserve our support. If the Indian team supports this commercial, perhaps its time for us to withdraw our support too!
    Thus spake Jagadish @ 7:40 pm |
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