PSG asks rap artist MIA to stop using its brand and sponsors

AP News
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Posted: Jan 11, 2016 8:50 AM
PSG asks rap artist MIA to stop using its brand and sponsors

PARIS (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain is threatening rap artist M.I.A. with legal action if the singer does not stop using the French soccer club's image in a video clip for her song "Borders."

In the video describing the ordeal of refugees, the British musician, whose real name is Mathangi Arulpragasam, is seen wearing a PSG shirt emblazoned with the club's logo and its jersey sponsor, whose slogan has been changed to "Fly Pirates."

On her Twitter account, M.I.A. published a letter written in December by PSG deputy CEO Jean-Claude Blanc to her label Universal Music asking "to cease the broadcasting" of images showing the PSG jersey and to refrain from using the club's image.

Blanc wrote that the club "had the unpleasant surprise" to find out that M.I.A appeared twice wearing the PSG shirt "bearing the very easily recognizable logo Paris Saint-Germain and our sponsors' brands (Nike and QNB), and the brand of our sponsor Emirates."

The PSG communication department told The Associated Press on Monday it wants to protect its image as well as its sponsors and says no legal action has been taken so far.

Blanc explained in his letter that the club did not understand why it was associated with a denunciation of the migrants' treatment in their journey across the sea toward Europe.

"This association is all the more hard to understand that nothing in our activities and in our daily initiatives suggests we have anything to do with the problems highlighted by M.I.A. " Blanc wrote.

Blanc noted that the French champions made a donation of 1 million euros ($1.12 million) to the United Nations' refugee agency and a French non-profit association to help relieve the migrant crisis last September.

"We consider that the use of our brand and image in a video clip denouncing the treatment of refugees is a source of discredit for our club and distorts its public communication policy," Blanc added.

In his formal notice to Universal Music, PSG also asked the music company "to compensate us for the harm we have suffered."