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AC Milan hijack haka for promo

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 21/04/2016

Italian soccer giants AC Milan have performed a bizarre pre-game haka as part of a marketing campaign for skin-care products.

Milan were held to a goalless draw against relegation-threatened Carpi at San Siro but the main talking point so far has been the haka.

It was "football's most frightening sellout", says Britain's Daily Mirror.

Milan's lacklustre performance only served to exacerbate the cringeworthiness of a pre-match publicity stunt where the home stars performed a version of the haka.

Milan dubbed their pre-match war dance the Tekitanka, with the name emblazoned on advertising boards along with social media hashtags.

The ruse was all designed as a marketing ploy for club sponsors Nivea, with the players mimicking the action of applying face cream .

While attempting to be light-hearted, the attention-seeking ploy could backfire on the club, given the sanctity New Zealanders place in traditional war dances like the haka.

The All Blacks perform the haka before kick-off in their Test matches, with other Pacific Islands Test teams also performing their own war dances.

A dim view is generally taken of mimicry however, even in flattery but most certainly if in jest.

New Zealand politicians reacted with anger to England World Cup-winner Matt Dawson's "Hakarena" dance advert during the autumn's Rugby World Cup.

Former Maori Party co-leader Sir Pita Sharples branded Dawson's insulting and "shameful".

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