Madeline McCann: Family ‘horrified’ her picture used to promote holidays in Portugal
KATE and Gerry McCann were "horrified" to discover that the last photograph taken of their missing daughter Madeleine had been used to promote holidays in Portugal.
The familiar image of the three-year-old was used to illustrate deals offered by lowcostholidays.com on the website VoucherDigg.
But the travel company said it had no advertising contract with the voucher website and admitted that the use of the little girl's picture was “vile”.
Clarence Mitchell, the McCanns’ spokesman, branded it “appallingly insensitive” and said law firm Carter-Ruck had been called in to demand removal of the picture with “immediate effect”.
The VoucherDigg site sells breaks in a self-catering family apartment in Albufeira, Algarve, just 25 miles from Praia da Luz, the resort from which Madeleine disappeared five years ago.
The photograph of her dangling her legs in a swimming pool dressed in a pink dress and white sunhat, was taken just hours before she vanished from the family's holiday apartment.
The advert offers “best value” discounts and urges holidaymakers: 'Hurry up for time is limited. Take the ones you loved and enjoy your life.''
Lawrence Hunt, chief operating officer of lowcostholidays.com, told the BBC: "We have no contract with VoucherDigg to advertise our holidays and we are doing all that we can to contact the website and get the picture removed.
"We discovered this vile material yesterday and immediately broke all the links to our site and contacted our lawyers.
We apologise for any distress this may have caused which is completely beyond our control and are disgusted by the use of this image."
No one from VoucherDigg was available for comment.
Mr Mitchell said the McCanns, from Rothley, Leicestershire, were fully aware of the use of their daughter’s picture, which he said had been online for at least 24 hours.
The couple last week issued a new appeal to the public as they marked the fifth anniversary of Madeleine’s disappearance.
They insisted that the ongoing Scotland yard review of the case had given them more hope than ever that she would eventually be found.