Two huge billboards claiming Russian lower division side Zhemchuzhina-Sochi has rejected the transfer of David Beckham were puzzling the citizens of Moscow on Thursday.
The image of the football superstar is accompanied by the slogan “We rejected him” and a logo of the club, currently playing in the First Division, on black banners.
Zhemchuzhina have hurried to announce they have nothing to do with the affair, adding they have not received any complaints from Beckham or his representatives so far.
“I don’t even know what the billboards look like,” Anton Milov, the Sochi club’s CEO, told RIA Novosti news agency.
Meanwhile, the billboards have violated advertising laws, as they do not contain any information about the company which installed them, causing the Moscow’s authorities to launch an inquiry.
Zhemchuzhina come from the resort city of Sochi, which will host 2014 Winter Olympics. The club bosses are planning to be promoted to the Russian Premier League next season, spending big money not only on new players, but on publicity as well.
They have bought a substantial amount of advertising space in one of the country’s leading sports newspapers, Sovetsky Sport, for the club promotion and also paid prominent journalist Evgeny Dzichkovsky to write a book called “Orange Mood” about the club’s revival.
The anti-Beckham billboards may well be just another step in the PR campaign.
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