from Gareth Pugh, consultant, Dragon brand consultants

SIR; Some have suggested Wayne Rooney's recent injury could compromise Asda's use of the star for promotions, but this analysis is way offside.
For a start, Rooney is not out of the running yet, but is undergoing further tests. Even if he were not match fit for the start of the World Cup, it would be surprising if England coach Sven-Goran Erikkson didn't still take him to Germany in case he's fit for England's later matches, or else as an encouragement for his team-mates.
Also, each World Cup of recent years has seen the media landscape rapidly and radically evolve since the last one. This is true of both diversity of channel and quantity of content.
The sheer hours of broadcast punditry and analysis that are involved in a major match, not to mention all the merchandising, promotions and competitions that surround the actual games themselves, mean that even an injured football star can play an impactful and lucrative role off the pitch.
Any notion that you are only as useful a 'currency' as this week's match performance need no longer ring true.
Asda marketing director Richard Hodgson is completely right to say that as an
inspiration to children Rooney "was the obvious choice to front the Asda World Cup" ('Rooney's a Must Have...', The Grocer,
April 29, p15).
And in this multi-media age, he still is.

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