Lowcost Travel Group has sought to distance itself from a promotion on deals site VoucherDigg.co.uk for holidays in Portugal using an unauthorised image of Madeleine McCann.
The advert on the website featured a photograph of Madeleine released by her parents soon after she was reported missing. It was used to promote deals offered by lowcostholidays.com.
However, Lawrence Hunt, chief operating officer at lowcostholidays.com, said the company had no contract with VoucherDigg to advertise its holidays and was doing all it could to contact the website and get the picture removed.
Hunt added: “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.”
VoucherDigg.co.uk describes itself as the “UK’s leading independent discount deal and voucher codes website offering discount vouchers and cheap deal information”. The website was down at the time of writing.
Madeleine went missing from a self-catering apartment in Praia da Luz in May 2007. The McCanns’ spokesman Clarence Mitchell is reported to have branded the use of the picture “appallingly insensitive”.
He told the Daily Star: ‘This is an appalling use of Madeleine’s picture and whether it is a result of hacking or a mistake it must be removed immediately.”