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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…

Filed Under: , ,
Companies: fifa, kulula

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Comments on “FIFA Demands Airline Drop Ad That Didn't Mention FIFA At All”

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The Evil IP Attorney says:

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?

mjb5406 (profile) says:

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!

Barry M says:


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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