Former Footballer Paul Merson Fired as Frontman

Published Friday, March 27, 2009 -

Bookmakers Better Bet have done a complete turn around after former footballer Paul Merson was signed to be the front man for the British company.

The 41-year-old ex-Arsenal and Aston Villa player had a severe and very public addiction to gambling during his time in the lime light. Merson's questionable past did not stop Better Bet from engaging his services to open new outlets and promote their campaigns.

A spokesperson for the wagering company said when they signed Merson up, "Paul is very popular with customers," "He is better known these days as a Sky pundit and former footballer. We have already used him to meet customers and sign autographs and so far we haven't had any negative comments about his past problems." His appointment as the public face of Better clearly suggested that the company felt confident that Paul Merson had conquered his bad habits.

Now it looks as if the star footballer's reputation problems are not over as yet. Angry customers claim that Better Bet's decision to use Merson trivialized the severity of gambling addiction. The public advertising campaign has been scrapped by Better Bet in an attempt to quiet this public outcry against the former Premier League star.

Managing director, of Better Bet, Ian Hogg said on a recent BBC radio show, "We've received a lot of complaints," "It is obvious that we have caused some offence to people and we are pulling the campaign. We have no wish to upset people or inflame gambling as an issue." Hogg stressed that despite the decision, Better Bet has maintained a good relationship with Merson and indicated that the firm may work with Merson on an "anti-problem gambling" campaign in the future. We like Paul a lot," Mr. Hogg went on, "I wouldn't want it to be seen in any way that we didn't want to work with Paul on this project." Mr. Merson has not released any comment on the turn around decision.

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