The Manchester United and England striker’s face was set to appear on cans and bottles in a multi-million-pound campaign to run from now until 2011. It is alleged by UK tabloid newspapers that Rooney slept with prostitutes while his wife, Coleen, was pregnant.
“The executives at head office in Atlanta wanted to drop him straight away,” a US source told The Daily Mail. “They were bewildered by the stories and found reports of his conduct disgusting. “There have been other stories about him cavorting with prostitutes and he was even photographed urinating against a wall in the summer. This is not something the American executives in Atlanta found acceptable at all.
“Coca-Cola is a family-friendly company and Wayne Rooney was brought on board to appeal to young people, specifically young men and teenage boys.”
An official spokesman for Coke said: “Last month we amended our marketing plans on Coke Zero. Given the situation at that time we did not feel it was appropriate to run an on-pack promotion featuring Wayne Rooney.”
Rooney is believed to earn £600,000 from his Coca-Cola endorsement.