Few pieces of public art are more recognizable and revered as Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue. It’s especially visible now that the world’s soccer fans (which are a great many) have their eyes firmly trained on the country as the World Cup is in full swing.
Leave it to a brand to desecrate it.
That brand is Ladbrokes. And its marketing tactic? Throw a soccer kit over the icon.
OK, they didn’t actually do it, but they pretended like they did in this video:
As you can probably imagine, there were plenty of people who took offense. Any time you throw a sports jersey on a religious savior—whether real or simulated—someone is going to be unhappy. One of Ladbrokes’ competing sites, Sportsbet, already learned that with its giant Christ the Redeemer balloon over Melbourne, Australia
reports that religious groups have asked the company to take down the video, which it did. And because this it’s the Internet, where nothing actually goes away, more people now know about it due to the controversy.