Surrogate advertisers discover ‘virtual’ support during Perth Test

Surrogate advertising companies found ‘virtual’ support, during the Perth Test between Australia and Pakistan started on Wednesday. 

Several logos were seen on TV broadcasts at the ground which were not actually present and were displayed using software. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) disassociated itself from this issue by terming it a matter between the host board and broadcaster. 

According to details, surrogate advertising made an entry into Pakistan cricket a few years ago when gambling websites made moderate changes in their names to get sponsorships. Moreover, most teams in the Pakistan Super League were also sponsored by such companies.

Multan Sultans’ captain, Mohammad Rizwan, had hidden sponsored logos during matches, leading to the matter being highlighted by the top officials. Eventually, restrictions were imposed on surrogate advertising. 

Before the ninth edition of the PSL, it was clarified to all franchises that they could not enter into a contract with such a company. However, now surrogate companies have begun efforts to break the government’s restrictions.

During the ongoing Test between Pakistan and Australia, viewers watching on television were surprised when they saw surrogate companies’ logos on the ground. It is important to note that in Australia, gambling is legal.

Advertisements for betting companies continued to run with boards on the boundary. However, the ads displayed on the ground were seen an altered spelling of bet replacing E with A. Upon contacting the stadium resources regarding this, it was revealed that no logos were painted on the ground. 

After investigation, it was revealed that virtual advertising made it possible through software. The advertisements appeared completely painted on the ground but in reality, it was not so. Even shadows of players were shown falling on them, but that was not the case.

Interestingly, when the entire ground was shown on TV, there were no logo present. In this regard, the PCB spokesperson on contact said that in matches held outside the country, contracts with sponsors are under the host board’s discretion, we cannot do anything about it. Regarding virtual advertising, he said if such a thing happened, it is the broadcaster’s issue, not ours.