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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...
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Filed Under: ads, trademark, world cup
Companies: fifa, kulula


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  1. icon
    mjb5406 (profile), 22 Mar 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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