Cristiano Ronaldo voodoo doll backfires

Pepsi has been forced to apologize for a promotional campaign involving a voodoo doll of Portugal international Cristiano Ronaldo.

The company ran a number of adverts before the second leg of the World Cup qualification play-off between the nations on Tuesday, with the Real Madrid star depicted as a small doll lying on train tracks with the caption ‘We’re going to pass over Portugal’.

Another image shows the model of the 28-year-old with dozens of pins stuck in.

“We would never want to put the sport or the spirit of competition in a negative light,” an official Pepsi statement reads.

“We regret it if people were offended by the posts. They were immediately taken down. We would like to extend our apologies to all concerned.”

The campaign failed on every level, with Ronaldo scoring all three goals in Portugal’s 3-2 win and provoking a predictably negative response in Portugal.

A Facebook group titled ‘I’ll never drink Pepsi’ hit 115,000 likes, and members of the group have responded by making their own versions of the adverts after Ronaldo’s one-man demolition in Stockholm. You can see those as well as the original Pepsi images by clicking here.¬†