FIFA Demands Airline Drop Ad That Didn't Mention FIFA At All

from the unofficial-sponsor-of-you-know-what dept

Earlier this year, we wrote about how the Olympics, notorious for trying to control everything associated with the Olympics to block anyone from doing any marketing around the games if they haven't paid up, got upset at company selling a t-shirt that read:
"Cool Sporting Event That Takes Place in British Columbia Between 2009 and 2011 Edition."
Now it looks like something similar has happened with the World Cup and the South African airline, Kulula. Kulula, if you don't know, is somewhat famous for its sense of humor. In particular, I really like the way the company recently redesigned one of its airplanes as "Flying 101":
Along those lines, the airlines decided to make a joke of the limits that FIFA struck on sponsors of the World Cup and put out an advertisement calling itself the:
"Unofficial National Carrier of the You-Know-What."
And, along with that it included images of stadiums, national flages and vuvuzelas (a type of horn regularly blown at football matches in South Africa). FIFA apparently sent a threat letter demanding Kulula pull the ad, calling it "ambush marketing." Apparently, FIFA has no sense of humor. After people got annoyed, FIFA put out a silly statement saying that it never said the airline couldn't use certain words or symbols -- but it just couldn't use them all in combination.

Of course, you have to imagine that all the additional attention to Kulula thanks to this "controversy" doesn't bother the airline one bit...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Ima Fish (profile), Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 1:13pm

    I don't know what's funnier, the plane or the advertising copy. I love this company.

     

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    Freedom, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 1:18pm

    V8/Duh Moment...

    Man, I struggled for months trying to figure out what I was going to paint my plane and finally decided on a nice but boring paint scheme. This one would have been perfect and 100% unique in the GA world. Darn it!!!

    Freedom

     

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    Headbhang, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 2:06pm

    Well done Kulula

    Well done for sticking it up to the greedy bastards. :D

     

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    Rabbit80, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 2:18pm

    Love the plane, but WTF is "ambush marketing"? Is there a law against it?

     

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    The Mighty Buzzard, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 2:46pm

    Best bit of Streisand Effect judo I've seen in a while.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 2:53pm

    Kulula needs to contact the Louisiana Attorney Generals office for information on how to smack-down a sports league. The NFL backed down real fast when the AT and one of the states senators got after them about so called Saints' trademarks.

     

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    The Evil IP Attorney, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 2:57pm

    Here's what we do-

    First, we fully commercialize culture by removing the Public Domain.

    Next, we need to make sure people are paid for every use of ideas in a cultural setting. You wanna talk about Bob's Movie? You better pay Bob for talking about his movie first. But you can only do so through me. Later, when mind reading and brain control finally becomes legalized, you will have to pay me for thinking about my imaginary property.

    I charge $1K an hour for you to think about my imaginary property.

    Can you say win-win?

     

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    mjb5406 (profile), Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 3:35pm

    No Attribution?

    Oh, Mike, Mike, Mike...

    I've read Techdirt enough to know you bristle at articles posted that do not contain attribution, and (at least most of the time) you mention who reported the story... why not this time? I sent in on Sunday, and was thrilled to see that you picked it up... but no mention of who you got the story from. Sigh. Guess I can't get my 15 seconds of fame after all!

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 3:55pm

      Re: No Attribution?

      I've read Techdirt enough to know you bristle at articles posted that do not contain attribution, and (at least most of the time) you mention who reported the story... why not this time? I sent in on Sunday, and was thrilled to see that you picked it up... but no mention of who you got the story from. Sigh. Guess I can't get my 15 seconds of fame after all!

      I wrote this post up on Friday after seeing it then, but didn't post it until today. Your submission came in after the post was already written...

       

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    mjb5406 (profile), Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 3:41pm

    So, OK...

    You got it from the BBC... but I DID send it in, and MY source was from a South African news source, not one of the Colonialists!@ :-)

     

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    NAMELESS.ONE, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 4:40pm

    So mister terrorist now has targets?

    HAHA
    bad thoughts to day after the evil anonymous crap
    LOL

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 5:54pm

    And the next addition to the planes paint job.

    F.I.F.A - fricken ignorant flaming a##holes..

     

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    Daemon_ZOGG (profile), Mar 22nd, 2010 @ 8:39pm

    Kulula Airlines...

    The plane's paint-job is AWESOME! I wanna paint my car in the same fashion! "Driver, Front Passenger, Engine,
    Fuel Tank, Right Front Tire, Etc". Heh-heh-haaah. ;))

    Cheers

     

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      Liquid (profile), Mar 23rd, 2010 @ 4:32am

      Re: Kulula Airlines...

      LMAO I was about to say the same thing. Also we should have Drivers ED cars painted in the same fashion as well.

      Genius.

       

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    holger, Mar 24th, 2010 @ 9:32pm

    another example from Germany

    Couple of years ago German Telekom tried t own the letter "T" and forbade anyone else to use it. One of my clients actually had to change their company logo although they used the T before German Telekom. I wonder what Kermit would say.

     

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    Michael Lockyear (profile), Mar 25th, 2010 @ 8:22am

    I enjoyed their twitter response, "oh dear letter from FIFA's lawyers says we broke their trademark of the use of "South Africa" and think our non-WC ad was about soccer..." http://twitter.com/kulula/status/10357793290

     

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    yuregininsesi, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 4:12pm

    Kulula needs to contact the Louisiana Attorney Generals office for information on how to smack-down a sports league. The NFL backed down real fast when the AT and one of the states senators got after them about so called Saints' trademarks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    Barry M, Jul 2nd, 2010 @ 3:56am

    Fifa

    Here in South Africa, as the quarter finals of the 2010 WC kick off, we South Africans are completely and utterly gatvol (cheesed off) with Fifa. Their arrogance knows no bounds. They see shadows everywhere and it is always called ambush marketing. They are past masters at drawing attention to these so called ambush brands thereby giving those competitor brands unprecedented mileage. And then there is Septic Bladders refusal to introduce video technology. The standard of refereeing has been nothing short of putrid. Never before have I seen anything quite so dismal. I for one can’t wait till Fifa pack their collective bags and leave these shores!

     

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    pariuri online, Nov 8th, 2010 @ 4:40am

    Greetings I recently finished reading through your blog and I'm very impressed. I do have a couple questions for you personally however. Do you think you're thinking about doing a follow-up posting about this? Will you be going to keep bringing up-to-date as well?

     

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    gps expert reviews, Dec 20th, 2010 @ 3:21am

    Comment

    You have a point anyway. Sad to know that FIFA put out a silly statement saying that it never said the airline couldn't use certain words or symbol. gps expert reviews

     

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