Monday, 25 November 2013

QPR player flogs games to kids

Shaun Wright-Philips, the QPR winger, seems to have a habit of using his association with QPR to advertise expensive computer games to young people using his Twitter feed. Regularly claiming that the latest product is the best thing since sliced bread he enthusiastically plugs the product, which he has presumably been paid to do.

The Office for Fair Trading ruled in 2011 that this sort of thing was "deceptive". Particularly when the company behind the promotion, or the celebrity doing it, do not declare what their arrangement is. I have asked Mr Wright-Phillips to do so, but he ignored my request. I also wrote to QPR's head of PR Ian Taylor to ask whether the club gave their players any guidance or policies on this, but he too chose to ignore the question.

The point about this is that these players, who earn astronomic sums of money every week, are directly contributing to pressure on parents and families in the run up to Christmas. They and the companies know this, which is why they do it. They also know it works, which is even more reason for them to do it.

All I am asking from QPR, since Shaun Wright-Phillips is clearly not going to answer, is whether they approve of it. QPR is one of the few remaining genuinely family and community clubs in this country and for that they can be rightly proud; I remember these scenes last year which proved that point well. But that community is overwhelmingly working class, based in and around White City, and for the most part quite unable to afford to fork out for numerous products of the type Mr Wright-Phillips is trying to deceptively sell using the club's brand. The recent growth of payday lending and pawn shops along the Uxbridge Road is no coincidence.

So hopefully we can have an answer if not from him, but from the club. I await Ian Taylor's reply with interest.

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