Manchester City has sacked PHD Media Manchester after the agency posted an ad that sought to recruit social media influencers to help boost ticket sales for UEFA Champions League matches, without the club’s authorisation.

The Premier League team said PHD was behind the ad on influencer marketing platform Tribe, which called on influencers to submit a post to “get across the great atmosphere of the Etihad (Stadium)”.

The move was aimed at improving the appeal of the club’s Champions League group stage matches against Dynamo Zagreb, Shakhtar Donetsk and Atalanta, as the ad claimed its “core fans are less likely to attend.”

Following the backlash and widespread mockery of the ad, City initially decided not to reveal the agency responsible. However, the club became deeply unhappy with the way PHD handled the situation and its unwillingness to take responsibility for its actions. This led to the Premier League champion terminating its contract with the firm and revealing its identity.

TheTicketingBusiness.com has contacted PHD Manchester for comment.