Bookmaker Paddy Power is to issue a statement on Sunday afternoon in relation to an Amazon rain forest PR stunt which has already angered conservation campaigners.
The Irish firm is believed to be behind the online campaign in support of England’s World Cup bid which begins in Brazil on Saturday.
An online image featuring a ravaged area of what appears to be the Amazon rain forest features the message ‘C’mon England – PP’ cut out of the trees.
Some nature experts have told the Irish Mirror that they fear the photo is genuine and trees have been felled.
Paddy Power was unavailable to comment when contacted by the paper but the picture was tweeted from their official account with the caption: “We’re showing our support for Roy’s boys!!”
Austin Brady, head of conservation for the Woodland Trust told the paper: “The authenticity of these photographs and the location where they were taken is unclear at this stage, but we would never condone cutting down trees for a PR stunt.”
The report adds that Twitter users were livid at the prank to support England boss Roy Hodgson and his team.
Tweeter Michael Gill said: “I hope that’s fake because if not it’s the most idiotic PR stunt ever.”
Another wrote: “I must say Paddy Power are an absolute disgrace for doing this to the Amazon rainforest. Taking it too far.”
The Paddy Power organization is infamous for such pranks. Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority made Paddy Power drop an ad for bets on the trial of Oscar Pistorius after it became the most complained-about campaign ever in March.
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