Ben Barba will continue to appear in the 2013 NRL advertising.
According to Fox Sports the NRL has announced its decision to keep Ben Barba in their multi-million dollar advertising campaign despite the controversy surrounding the Dally M star player.
Since Ben Barba was stood down from the Canterbury Bulldogs, the fullback looked to have been removed from the advertising campaign as the face of the NRL for the 2013 season.
Jonathan Thurston replaced Barba at the season launch alongside singer Jessica Mouboy but plans to remove him from the television advertising have been cancelled. The 2012 Dally M winner will appear in the advert setting up a memorable try against the Melbourne Storm for Canterbury Bulldogs.
After consulting with the Bulldogs NRL chief executive Dave Smith and marketing director Paul Kind decided that it would cause less controversy to keep Barba in the advertising than to remove him.
Kind said: “Any decision to not include Ben Barba would’ve brought more profile rather than less. Leaving him in based on what we know from the Bulldogs is the right thing to do.”
So far both the Bulldogs and the NRL have been largely commended for their handling of the situation. This move to keep the exciting fullback in their advertising is another example of the NRL deciding to remain behind a troubled player rather than distance themselves which in the past has been the case all too often.
At the NRL season launch CEO David Smith commented on the Barba situation saying the NRL would be there for him. “The rugby league family is proud of him and he has earned that right.” said Smith.
“If we are to grow the game, we must stand by and help stars like Ben when they need it most.”