Ambush marketing guerrillas in the Dutch midst at FIFA World Cup

An ambush marketing stunt by an events company on behalf
of a Dutch brewer, Bavaria Beer, has led to further embarrassment for ITV and
the South African FIFA World Cup organisers.

FIFA ejected 36 women, guerrilla marketers scantily
dressed in orange mini-dresses, who had infiltrated the Holland v Denmark fixture in Soccer City,
Johannesburg.

A FIFA spokesman said: “Several young South African
women were used by a large Dutch brewery as an instrument for an ambush
marketing campaign. This company has a long history of trying ambush marketing
tactics at sports events.”

Football’s governing body fiercely protects its
lucrative sponsorship contracts and ambush marketing is banned. Budweiser is the
only beer company allowed to advertise within the stadiums at the World Cup in
South
Africa.

A Bavaria Beer spokesman said the company had not yet
decided whether to do
any more such stunts.

Further controversy was added when ITV sacked one of its pundit,
ex-footballer Robbie Earle, amidst allegations he had supplied up to 200 tickets
to a third party agency.

The Times
newspaper reports a preliminary investigation indicated that a block of ITV
tickets would appear to have been used for unauthorised purposes during the
Holland v Denmark
match. It is thought part of the allocation ended up with the orange Bavarian
Beer ladies.

The controversy follows ITV cutting to an advertisement
as Steven Gerrard scored England’s opening goal. The episode
follows a similar incident when Everton scored a late winner against rivals
Liverpool in February
2009.

Paul Colston

Author

Paul Colston

Managing Editor, Conference News & Conference & Meetings World.

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