The controversial Uruguayan is believed to have bitten Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini’s shoulder during the nations’ heated clash to progress further in the tournament. FIFA is investigating the alleged incident with the Liverpool FC striker likely to face a lengthy ban if found guilty
Fans flocked to social media to comment on the news, urging organisers to expel the player given he has bitten opponents on two other occasions. The growing furore around the incident has enticed some brands to sink their teeth into the opportunity to hijack the debate.
McDonald’s used its Uruguayan Twitter handle to tweet Suarez with a jovial plea to take a bite out of a Big Mac if he’s hungry. Nando’s adopted a simialr approach when it tweeted ”Hey @luis16suarez, if you’re that hungry, why not get your teeth stuck into something really tasty?”.
Natural food retailer Whole Foods also joined in with the message “This can be your dinner…ITALIAN FLANK STEAK PINWHEELS #WFMdish”.
Specsavers was also quick off the mark with its own reaction to the allegations. The business, which has previously mocked Suarez, worked with Manning Gottlieb OMD to amplify its “Should’ve gone to Specsavers #SHGTS #ITA vs #URU” post.
Elsewhere, TGI Fridays posted “I think it’s safe to say Uruguay was hungry for the win”, while Listernine advised “We recommend a good swish after grabbing a bite of Italian. #WorldCup #PowerToYourMouth”.
MLB could not resist using the moment to take a cheeky swipe at football’s growing popularity in the US with a picture of baseball player biting a bat captioned by the message “There’s no crying #biting in baseball”. American beer Bud Light also jumped at the oppprtunity to exploit the country’s interest in the tournament with a picture of someone trying to open a bottle of the beer with their mouth. The image is captioned by the post “Relax, they’re twist off. #biting #ITAvsURU”.
One brand not likely to see the funny side will be Suarez’s sponsor Adidas. The sportswear brand, which posted a picture of the striker with the strapline “The perfect weapon” (see above) just hours before the match, has not yet commented on the incident despite previoulsly warning the striker about his behaviour last year. Last April, Adidas rebuked Suarez following a similar biting incident when he bit Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic during a Premier League match.