Bacardi pulls Vinnie Jones television ad after conviction

LONDON – Drinks firm Bacardi has pulled its Vinnie Jones television advertising campaign after he was convicted of air rage, but has made no final decision on axing the actor for good.

Yesterday, Bacardi was already considering the future use of the former footballer Vinnie Jones in its advertising and it seemed unlikely that he will be asked back after being convicted of the air rage attack.

In court, Jones got off lightly with 80 hours of community service and a £500 fine after he attacked fellow Virgin airline passengers and told the crew he could get them "murdered for £3,000".

On screen in movies such as 'Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels', 'Snatch' and 'Gone in Sixty Seconds', Jones plays hard-men, underworld-type figures.

However, the loss of the Bacardi work because of the conviction could hit him much harder financially and rule him out of consideration for any future lucrative advertising work.

The drinks firm said it had pulled the ad and would be running a different spot as it continued to weigh up whether to use the former Wimbledon and Welsh international as the face of its advertising.

A Bacardi spokeswoman said: "In the run-up to the Christmas period, we have actually removed that. We do expect appropriate behaviour from people involved in the promotion of our brands."

Jones has since given interviews expressing remorse for his behaviour and in a statement said he "regretted the incident deeply".

Jones has appeared in a number of TV ads for Bacardi Carta Blanca Rum since being signed in 2001 after being brought in by McCann-Erickson.

The agency had another spot starring the actor ready to run, which featured Jones in a race with a woman to see who could mix the fastest Bacardi and Coke. It is now unlikely that this spot will run.

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