campaignlive.co.uk, Wednesday, 08 July 1998 12:00AM
- Young & Rubicam's controversial poster for Pirelli tyres, which casts the Brazilian footballer, Ronaldo, as a Christ figure, is being shown in the UK for the first time this week, as the World Cup reaches its climax.
The poster features Ronaldo, the star of the Brazil team, towering over the panorama of Rio de Janeiro in his blue and black Inter Milan strip. With arms outstretched over the bay in his trademark celebratory position, the heel of his left foot is raised and pointing out from the poster towards passers-by.
On the soles of Ronaldo's feet is the Pirelli rubber tyre tread -- the "control" behind his power. As with previous Pirelli advertising, the endline reads: "Power is nothing without control."
When it appeared in other regions of the world, the same poster caused controversy because Ronaldo's pose mimicks that of the giant figure of Christ which looks over the harbour of Rio de Janeiro in real life.
Y&R is gambling on Brazil making it through this week's semi-final clash against Holland, and onto the World Cup final which takes place on Sunday.
The UK creative team on the Ronaldo poster were Majella Lewis, the art director, and Rob Porteous, the copywriter. Photography is by Ken Griffiths and media buying by Young & Rubicam.
This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk