An ad campaign accused of exploiting the incident in which the
footballer Paolo Di Canio pushed a referee to the ground is not being
given a red card by the Advertising Standards Authority.
It cleared Fila, the sportswear manufacturer, of glorifying
irresponsible behaviour and setting a bad example to young people with
poster and cinema advertising in which Di Canio describes himself as
Di Canio, now with West Ham, provoked outrage when, as a Sheffield
Wednesday player, he sent referee Paul Alcock tumbling after being sent
off during a match against Arsenal in 1998. The Football Association
charged him with misconduct, fined him pounds 10,000 and banned him for
In his voiceover for the cinema commercial, produced by Billington
Jackson, Di Canio says: ’If you want to get to the absolute top you have
to push yourself. You have to be able to push others around you so that
they too can achieve their ambitions. This is very important to me.
Because, you know, I have always been a pushy person.’
Fila claimed the advertising did not relate to the pushing incident but
was derived from the ’Push yourself’ theme of the wider campaign.
The ASA has also thrown out a complaint by EasyJet, the cut-price
airline, which claimed a Virgin Rail press ad headlined ’QueasyJet’ was
denigrating and insulting.
Virgin told the ASA that the advertising was a response to EasyJet’s
’great train robbery’ campaign.
The Virgin ad, by Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, promoted rail
journeys from London to Manchester and Liverpool from pounds 5 each way
with the line: ’Not everyone appreciates our low fares.’