>> Accept me because I've swum against the current to where I belong. Accept me, an ad by Visa with refugee Olympian Yusra Mardini, an elite swimmer from Syria who swam three hours, as she helped dragged a small boat carrying over a dozen other refugees to the Greek shore.
Visa saying Wednesday it signed sponsorship deals with all ten members of the first refugee team of stateless athletes who fled war and oppression from Syria, South Sudan, Congo and Ethiopia. But the language in the ads are raising eyebrows, says Reuters Liana Becker.>> Using refugees in ads is controversial.
We don't know how much they're getting paid, we don't know the IOC's role in brokering these deals between the refuges and Visa, so there’s a lot of questions. I showed one refuge advocate some of the creative that Visa had made and they thought that it was a cheap connection between acceptance of a refugee into a country and acceptance in terms of the Visa brand, which consumers associate with credit cards.
>> Visa has told Reuters it's focusing on the positives for now and the contracts are identical, comparable deals to the sponsorship agreements it has with more well known athletes, including US athletes Missy Franklin beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh Jennings and Ashton Eaton. The IOC introduced its inaugural Refugee Team in June to draw attention to the plight of refugees.
The six men and four women will compete in swimming, judo and athletics and will march with the Olympic flag just before host Brazil at the opening ceremony.