DIARY: Rio gets something to remember as Arsenal fan ad takes the piss

Never kick a man when he's down. Well, not unless you're an Arsenal fan and your target for a bit of off-the-ball aggro happens to be Rio Ferdinand, Manchester United's man with the memory lapse.

Of course, students of the beautiful game will know the relationship between the Gooners and the Red Devils makes Maurice Saatchi and David Herro look like a mutual admiration society. If it isn't mass punch-ups on the pitch, it's poisonous mind-games between Arsene and Sir Alex.

So when Ferdinand was found to have been taking the piss instead of giving it (to use one commentator's words) and the FA took what seemed like an eternity to impose an eight-month ban, the Highbury fans were presented with the equivalent of an open goal.

Hence this spoof ad for United's Vodafone sponsor, which appears on the Arsenal fanzine website www. onlinegooner.com.

Meanwhile, it seems Ferdinand is getting involved in some transfer activity amid fears about how this might have dented his marketability. SEM Group, not the sports agency SFX, will now handle all his "management, commercial and marketing matters".

Campaign's resident expert on the selling of celebs reckons Ferdinand's prospects have been dented but not wrecked by what has happened to him.

"For some edgy fashion and toiletry brands, his reputation might actually work in his favour," he says. "But any advertiser wanting a role model for young people won't touch him. Nor will heavily regulated sectors such as drink and cars."