FanDuel has responded to claims it is using the likenesses of two former Georgia Tech football players without rights or compensation, saying the daily fantasy gambling site does not actually produce the ads that have infiltrated every commercial break of every television program on the planet.
FanDuel director of communications Justine Sacco (yes, that Justine Sacco) provided Deadspin the following statement Tuesday:
FanDuel works with a third party ad agency to produce these advertisements. The agency guaranteed us that only stock, generic images would be used, and that they had acquired all necessary rights for every image in these ads. As soon as FanDuel learned of the situation, we moved to pull the content and these are coming out of circulation now.
We’re told FanDuel was made aware of the situation early last week, but the ads are continuing to run. Here’s a new one that features former Georgia Tech stars Roddy Jones and Jason Peters prominently; it ran on ESPN this morning.
Jones, through a spokesperson, says he hasn’t been contacted by FanDuel or compensated for the use of his image. Georgia Tech, too, says Jones and Peters weren’t paid to pimp the company; Summit Athletic Media, which designed the Yellow Jackets poster ripped off by FanDuel in the ads, says they weren’t contacted either and “are just as surprised as anyone” to see their work being used for the gambling site. The photo of Candlestick Park used as a “FanDuel Football” poster in the background, meanwhile, belongs to Aerial Views Publishing. We’ve asked Aerial Views if they gave permission to FanDuel, too, and will update if they respond.
Update (12:18 p.m.): Mike Smith of Aerial Views Publishing confirms that the advertisement uses their copyrighted image without permission or compensation.