Week 3 of the National Football League season is now complete and just as it fades into our memories, so does our initial excitement for the daily fantasy sports ad blitz. At first, it was cool; this young, niche, seemingly legal gambling pastime is hitting the mainstream! But now that the commercials are seemingly running on a nonstop loop, we are all sick of them. Even those of us who love DFS.
And if those commercials weren’t bad enough, FanDuel, one of the internet’s two leading daily fantasy sites, has used content in a number of its television commercials without permission. You’ve seen the promos: they feature a guy who looks like a cross between former MTV VJ and current FX personality Dave Holmes and playboy gambler Dan Bilzerian telling us all about the benefits of signing up with FanDuel. He’s swarthy enough to look like he definitely knows all about sports and such, but just barely clean-cut enough so as not to be threatening. Kind of looks like an avatar someone might create in a suburban-themed Skyrim.
If you can manage to take your eyes off of the spokesman and the promo codes, take a look at the background. In several of the commercials, you will see what appears to be a generic football poster featuring two players. I say “appears” because it is most definitely NOT a generic football poster. It is actually, as was pointed out by Deadspin yesterday, an image stolen from Georgia Tech’s 2011 football schedule calendar. The calendar includes the same image of the players – Roddy Jones and Jason Peters – on its right half while displaying the season’s football schedule on the left.
Both the university and Roddy Jones told Deadspin that they did not give permission to FanDuel to use the images. Jones added that he has not been compensated for the use of his likeness.
The company that designed the poster, Summit Athletic Media, also said it was never contacted by FanDuel about using the poster.
Come on, FanDuel. You were the biggest TV advertiser last week and lawmakers are starting to question your legality. You might want to dial down the things that garner you negative attention.