Ex-Australian skipper Steve Smith plays a leading role in a new Vodafone Australia advert with the tagline ‘Gutsy is calling’.
Having been embroiled in the furore of the Australian ball-tampering controversy last year, Smith is set to make his highly-anticipated return to the international arena after a 12-month ban imposed by Cricket Australia in early 2019.
Featuring a voiceover of Smith talking about his struggles over the past year, the minute-long advert seems to paint him in a positive light, with Smith at one point stating: “Everyone makes mistakes; it’s about the way you respond to it that’s really important”. The commercial also includes clips from Smith’s emotional press conference immediately after the controversy.
This advert comes at a time when Australian cricket, under new leadership team Justin Langer and Tim Paine, is attempting to come to terms with the disrepute brought upon itself as a result of Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft’s involvement in the ball-tampering scandal.
An advert which appears to endorse Smith as a role model may well be construed as damaging and unnecessary, especially considering that he is yet to finish his ban.