FA picks Ian Wright for corporate ads

The Football Association is launch ing its first corporate advertising campaign in its 134-year history, featuring football bad-boy Ian Wright.

The FA will use the controversial Arsenal and England striker in a run of four press ads over the next six months, created by McCann-Erickson.

The association wants to raise its profile, especially against the six-year-old Premier League, which receives much greater media coverage.

Philip Carling, commercial director of the FA, says: “We ran focus groups centring on our image. These revealed the associations with the England team are very positive. However, as a body, they thought we were a bit dull. The point of this initiative is to bring our image closer to that of the team.”

Carling defends the choice of Wright to front the campaign. He says: “Wright is his own man. People think, ‘He didn’t have to say that so there must be some truth to what he says’.”

News Analysis, page 18

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