02/19/2012 : 888 ambassador Shane Warne comes under fire for advert that appeared on a porn site.
Being a front man for major companies is not all it's cracked up to be on occasions, as former Aussie cricket star Shane Warne discovered this week when a 888Poker.com advertisement backfired.
The Sunday Telegraph reports that Warne is embroiled in controversy after advertisements for 888 online poker – for which he is a celebrity ambassador – appeared on a hardcore porn site.
"The ads, which show a grinning Warne throwing cards and gambling chips towards the camera, feature on a website broadcasting explicit adult videos," the Telegraph claims.
Warne's manager James Erskine said that the ads had appeared on the site without either his or his star client's knowledge.
"No, Shane nor I were aware of the 888 Poker Site appearing on porn sites,” Erskine told the newspaper.
The sportsman's brother Jason Warne, who is general manager of the children's charity The Shane Warne Foundation, said that he would inform his board members.
He said that 888 Poker had been "sensational” in supporting their annual poker tournament to raise money for sick and underprivileged children.
"If they were breaking the law, then obviously that's something we'd take umbrage to and disassociate with but I don't know,” Warne said. "It's something that I'll speak to the board about and get their opinions on.
"I actually look forward to having a conversation (with Shane's) management and find out what their position is and convey that to our board and we'll make a decision from there.”
The newspaper goes on to detail various personal escapades in which the famous cricketer has allegedly been involved in over the years, but which have little bearing on the advertisement at the centre of the report.
Image consultant Jon Michail told the newspaper that based on the public's willingness to forgive Warne in the past, he should survive this latest controversy unscathed.
"He's already done things worse than this. Having a business associated with a porn site is not the end of the world for Shane. There are `sacred cows' out there. There are some people you can't touch,” he said.
The newspaper did not publish any response from 888Poker.