Manchester City have terminated their relationship with media firm PHD Media Manchester after they were humiliated by an advert looking for help to boost the atmosphere at Champions League games.
Working on behalf of City, the group posted on the app Tribe, which is used by brands to reach out to those with large social media followings, to look for help to raise awareness for the club's European games.
In the post, the group claimed City feared they would not attract many fans after being drawn against three 'relatively unknown' sides - Atalanta, Dinamo Zagreb and Shakhtar Donetsk - and it was ridiculed for its search for help to 'get across the great atmosphere' of Champions League games.
The Daily Mail report, City had no prior knowledge of this post and they were left furious to see the group post something without their permission, particularly as it led to widespread criticism from many on social media. As a result, City opted to terminate the partnership.
It is said that, while City were concerned with the content of the advert, they were also disappointed that PHD Media Manchester failed to take responsibility for the backlash. Jon Kershaw, managing director of the group, explained that they were investigating what had gone wrong with this post.
"The brief we issued to Tribe fell short of the high standards that PHD Manchester is committed to delivering for its clients and we regret any negative impact on Manchester City FC," Kershaw revealed. "We are reviewing our internal processes as a result of this matter."
Specifically looking for men between the ages of 18 and 55, the advert wanted influencers to produce "fan-centric [content] which has an element of FOMO [fear of missing out] at its core'" and "showcases the electrifying atmosphere that only Champions League live football matches can deliver".
City attracted a crowd of over 49,000 for Tuesday's 5-1 victory over Atalanta, which is around 4,000 less than the Etihad Stadium's maximum capacity.