World Cup 2010: Fifa under fire as spotlight stays on 'ambush advertising'

24/06/2010 15:10
Two days after 36 blondes hired byair force shoes on sale a hitherto obscure Dutch brewer were ejected from the stadium for breaching Fifa regulations, the incident was still the talk of the tournament, dominating front pages and new bulletins for a third day. If Fifa's intention was to deny the Bavaria brewery publicity at the expense of official World Cup beer Budweiser, they have failed. Ticket and transport woes hit opening weekend The logos on Nike Dunk Shoes on salethe women's dresses were as tiny as the hemlines were short, but Fifa's heavy-handed reaction has brought the affair international attention and risked a diplomatic row with Holland, whose foreign minister has branded their handling of the incident "absurd". The involvement of Vibram Five Fingers on saleformer Wimbledon midfielder and ITV pundit Robbie Earle, revealed as the source of the women's tickets and sacked as a result, has simply stirred interest in an issue that is usually the preserve of trademark lawyers and industry specialists. Yesterday Fifa confirmed that two Dutch women suspected of orchestrating the stunt had been arrested and would face charges and prosecution under legislation introduced specifically to protect the rights of the organisation's sponsors. A spokesman for the South African police said they would be prosecuted and tried within days in special fast-track courts introduced for the tournament. "They are on their way to court as we speak, onMBT Shoes on sale three charges – contravention of the Merchandise Mark Act and contravention of two sections of the special measures regulations," the spokesman said. Dutch foreign minister Maxime Verhagen condemned Fifa's handling of the incident, saying it was absurd that the pair had been arrested. "The arrest and [criminal] charge is a disproportional reaction," he said in a statement released by the Dutch foreign ministry. "It is outrageous that the two women have Nike Air Jordan Shoesa jail term hanging over their heads for wearing orange dresses in a football stadium. If South Africa or Fifa wants to take a company to task for an illegal marketing action, they should start judicial procedures against the company and not against ordinary citizens walking around in orange dresses." South Africa introduced legislation to provide protection for Fifa's sponsors, who have paid an estimated $1.2billion to be associated with the tournament. With sponsors providing a third of the revenue from the event protection is seen as crucial to maintaining the value of the rights. The UK has introduced similar legislation to protect the 2012 London Olympics. At its most draconian, such legislation gives stewards the power toNike Air Max Shoes prevent spectators wearing a T-shirt branded with a rival company's logo to enter a stadium. The World Cup has always attracted ambush marketing on Nike Air Force Shoesa more industrial scale however, and the battle between legitimate sponsors and their rivals has become a feature of the corporate age of sport that began with the 1984 Olympics. The continued focus on the mini-dress stunt marks it out as a classic "ambush", the result of an orchestrated and deliberate marketing campaign by Bavaria. At the 2006 World Cup the company handed out air forcebranded lederhosen to Dutch fans who were asked to remove them by stewards before entering stadiums. This time the logos were smaller but the ambush was farair force shoes more sophisticated and coordinated. The company began screening adverts in Holland earlier this month featuring the mini-dress girls and hired a Playboy model to promote the idea. It was this ad campaign that attracted Fifa's attention, and when the women removed T-shirts to reveal the dresses they stepped in. A spokesman for London 2012 said they have the power to Nike Dunk Shoesremove people from venues and seek criminal charges, but would treat incidents on a case-by-case basis. "We have legislation to protect our partners but we will take a measured and pragmatic approach to these things. If there are two or three people in branded T-shirts clearly trying to make an impression, we will ask whether they are in camera shot and whether it is a big deal before we take action to remove them." nike dunk Air yeezy Air Jordan 1 Air Jordan 2 Air Jordan 3