The campaign was due to place the Manchester United football player’s image on thousands of bottles and cans of Coke Zero, the brand’s no-sugar variant.
Coca-Cola today confirmed the promotion had been cancelled, as it did not deem it “appropriate” due to the allegations surrounding the striker’s personal life.
An official statement from the soft drinks manufacturer said, “Last month we amended our marketing plans on Coke Zero. Given the situation at that time, we did not feel it was appropriate to run an on-pack promotion featuring Wayne Rooney.”
“Our relationship with Wayne Rooney is ongoing. We are currently working with Wayne on Coke Zero Street Striker – an award-winning programme which, over the past three years, has encouraged thousands of young people to get involved in football,” the statement continued.
Rooney’s deal with Coke is understood to be worth more than US$765,000 (£500,000) a year and is in addition to further sponsorship deals with sportswear firm Nike and games manufacturer EA Sports.
Reported in April, Tiger Beer became the first Asian Beer to sign on Rooney for its regional campaign launched before the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The TVC was subsequently dropped in late September after reports of Rooney’s alleged infidelity surfaced, and replaced with an older ad.
Reports in the tabloids at the beginning of last month claimed Rooney had paid up to US$1,836 (£1,200) a night to an escort girl.
Sponsors had initially insisted that the allegations are a personal matter for Rooney and his family. No official statement has come from the Rooney camp.
At the beginning of September, Coca-Cola issued a statement to the press insisting it would not drop the star from his sponsorship deal.
The statement said, “This is a private matter for Wayne Rooney and his family. We will be making no further comment at this time.”
Both Nike and EA Sports released similar statements. Nike said, “This is a private matter for Wayne and his family and we have no further comment to make at this time. We have worked with Wayne for seven years and he continues to be a Nike athlete.”
This view was echoed by an EA Sports spokesman who said, “This is a personal matter and we respect Wayne and his family’s privacy. We have worked together for six years and Wayne continues to represent EA Sports. We will be making no further comment at this time.”