Man City drop media agency over advert seeking influencers to boost attendances
Manchester City have ended their relationship with a media agency that advertised for social media influencers to boost the appeal of European games.
A post displayed on influencer marketing app Tribe on Tuesday sought recruits to "get across the great atmosphere" of Champions League games.
City distanced themselves from the post on Wednesday and said it was created without their knowledge or permission.
The agency admitted a brief sent to a third party "fell short" of standards.
Speaking on Friday, PHD Media Manchester's managing director Jon Kershaw said the company "is committed to delivering for its clients and we regret any negative impact on Manchester City FC". An internal review is also under way.
The advert said "core fans are less likely to attend" as City face "three relatively unknown" group opponents.
City are grouped with Dinamo Zagreb, Shakhtar Donetsk and Atalanta.
The attendance for Tuesday's 5-1 Champions League home win over Atalanta was recorded at 49,308, with Etihad Stadium's capacity for Uefa competition capped at 53,000.
The advert - aimed at 18-55-year-old men - read: "The Champions League draw this year has given us three relatively unknown teams meaning our core fans are less likely to attend.
"We want to get across the great atmosphere of the Etihad through the use of influencers who can tell an authentic and genuine story of what it's like to be at a game."
Applicants were then asked to submit "a mock shot" that creates a fear of missing out for those watching matches on TV.