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Why This Steve Smith Umbrella Pic Has Caused A Social Media Storm

A bloke stands out in the rain. Posts a pic of himself. What could possibly go wrong?

Well, here's the thing.

The bloke is Australian batsman Steve Smith, and the pic of him standing in the English rain -- which has already washed out several Cricket World Cup matches -- was the accompaniment to a social media plug for Vodafone.

Now, that's not the worst thing in the world. In fact, you expect your social media 'influencers' to advertise stuff these days via their social channels.

It's just the tone of this one which has gotten people off side. The way it's poorly disguised as a thing he actually wanted to say. The way Smith segues clunkily from travelogue to advertorial.

It just kind of grinds, y'know? At least that's how people received it.

There was the suggestion that Smith himself wasn't the actual tweeter, and that his social team did it for him. In that case, you'd have to make the harsh-but-fair assessment they're not very good at their job.

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Whoever actually sent out the post, it wasn't the first time a Vodafone/Steve Smith thing has rubbed people the wrong way.

When Smith did ads for Vodafone late last year calling his recovery "gutsy", even as he still served his ball-tampering ban, it just felt a little early to most people.

Today's Vodafone thing? Only one way to put it. It just felt a little grating, like, um, sandpaper.

Main image: Steve Smith Instagram.