The team is joined by GuestKats Mirko Brüß, Rosie Burbidge, Nedim Malovic, Frantzeska Papadopolou, Mathilde Pavis, and Eibhlin Vardy
InternKats: Rose Hughes, Ieva Giedrimaite, and Cecilia Sbrolli
SpecialKats: Verónica Rodríguez Arguijo (TechieKat), Hayleigh Bosher (Book Review Editor), and Tian Lu (Asia Correspondent).

Monday, 15 March 2004


According to the Sunday Telegraph Former Manchester United and current Real Madrid idol David Beckham is threatening legal action against a Russian firm that he claims is using his image without permission to sell alcopops. His threat follows the appearance in Moscow and St Petersburg of hoardings and magazine advertisements that use a model closely resembling Beckham to sell cans of "Manchester Gin", a mix of gin and tonic. On one half of his body, the model is wearing a Manchester United kit, while on the other he is dressed as an English gentleman. Beckham's management agency believes the advertisements are a passing off of Beckham's image without authorisation. The ad campaign has proved immensely successful. Manchester Gin has seized about 10% of the growing market for ready-mixed drinks in Moscow and St Petersburg, with more than 18,000 cans being sold since it went on sale in December at a price of 30 roubles, equivalent to 50p. Happyland Drinks, which produces Manchester Gin, openly admits that the model in the poster is intended to look like Beckham, but denies any wrongdoing.

Any infringement of image rights in Russia could damage both Beckham and Manchester United. A core element of the England captain's transfer to Real Madrid last summer was the marketing value of the player's image rights. At Manchester United, Beckham's £70,000-a-week wages were supplemented by a weekly payment of £20,000 for image rights used in club merchandising. He earned a further £10 million from personal endorsements and sponsorship deals with such commercial giants as Adidas, Pepsi, Police sunglasses, Vodafone and Marks & Spencer. On his move to Real Madrid, Beckham kept his existing personal endorsement contracts, and now receives 50% of any revenue generated from his image rights - estimated to bring him up to £750,000 a year.

The IPKat is still waiting for someone to slip up and wrongfully use his image in an ad campaign: it’s the only way he’s ever going to get rich.

Other happylands here, here and here
Football fans and alcohol here, here and here
Footballers and alcohol here, here and here

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