Referee Collina 'takes control' in Vauxhall TV and print campaign

LONDON - The world's most widely recognised football referee Pierluigi Collina is to star in a television and press campaign for Vauxhall next month, as part of the deal that forced him to quit the game amid conflict-of-interest allegations.

Collina sensationally pulled the plug on his long career after pressure from Italy's referee association over the Europe-wide deal with Vauxhall.

The brand is known as Opel across Europe and there was concern the deal was in breach of rules concerning conflict of interest, as the brand is also the sponsor of Italian Seria A side AC Milan.

This latest campaign to promote the Vectra and Signum ranges shows Collina driving the products under the slogan "Take control".

Created by Delaney Lund Knox Warren, it breaks in the UK on October 1 and has been running across Europe since the end of August.

Andy Gilson, Vauxhall marketing director, said: "As a referee, Collina has to have everything under control all of the time.

"The new Vectra and Signum's advertising slogan is 'take control' as the latest version of our mid-size car features intelligent innovations for even greater dynamics, safety and comfort."

During his 28-year refereeing career, Collina has overseen the 1996 Olympics final and the 1998-99 Champions League final, which saw Manchester United dramatically beat Bayern Munich in injury time.

He also officiated during England's match with Argentina at the 2002 World Cup, where he awarded the penalty that David Beckham converted to win the match.

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