Disgust at Travel Website Ad using McCann Photo
A photo of missing British girl Madeleine McCann has been used in an advertisement on voucher site VoucherDigg, promoting holidays in Portugal - where the girl disappeared while on holiday. The image was used with the ad: ‘£20 off: Great discount on holiday bookings’. Underneath it is a caption reading: ‘best value’ - encouraging people to make bookings fast and take their loved ones on a holiday and enjoy life. Clicking on the ad takes the user to a lowcostholidays.com page offering similar holiday packages.
Madeleine went missing in Portugal over five years ago when she was just three years old. She disappeared from the Praia da Luz apartment her family was using for their holiday while her parents were dining with friends at a tapas restaurant close by.
Kate and Gerry McCann are aware of the ad and are horrified by it. Clarence Mitchell, their spokesperson, says the use of the picture is extremely insensitive and appalling, and the image should be removed immediately - no matter if it was a mistake or due to hacking. This was the last picture taken of Madeleine before her 2007 disappearance in Portugal, and for someone to use it as a holiday ad for Portugal or a sick joke is outrageous. They understand it’s been on the website for 24 hours, he added, and there’s no excuse.
London law firm Carter Ruck has been asked to demand the picture be removed. Meanwhile, lowcosttravelgroup boss Lawrence Hunt says he’s outraged the photo has been used, which was a decision made by a Chinese marketing company. They don’t have a contract with VoucherDigg for their holidays to be advertised, and they are doing all they can to get the photo removed. Upon discovering the offensive material, they immediately broke all links to their site and contacted their lawyers, he added.