Mastercard has a new alias - “Master Disgusting,” after social media users reacted negatively to the credit card company's campaign to donate 10,000 meals to starving children every time soccer stars Neymar Jr. and Lionel Messi scores a goal between now and March 2020.
With the support of the football duo, Mastercard vowed to donate the equivalent value of the meals to the World Food Programme, or WFP, for children in living in Latin America and countries in the Caribbean each time the pair scored a goal.
Twitter users described the move as being a “horrible publicity stunt.”
One person wrote, “If you’ve got the money @Mastercard, just give it away anyway. Don’t let the fate of starving children rest on multimillionaire footballers.”
Another wrote, “This is absolutely disgusting. Give them the food anyway.”
Another Twitter user decried, “Wow, just wow. The World Cup that became known as the ‘Hunger Games'.”
Neymar said he was "happy" to help make sure "children in the region will have a plate of food and a hopeful outlook."
"We, as Latin Americans, know we can do great things when we unite, and this is an example of that: together we can fight hunger," Neymar said.
The initiative, which comes less than two weeks before the start of the 2018 World Cup, is part of a corporate campaign which began last year and was promoted by Mastercard to inspire celebrities to use their influence to help Latin American youths. Entitled #JuntosSomos10 (#TogetherWeAre10), the campaign intends to support the message of health, hope, and generosity.