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Thursday, April 1, 2010
FIFA net

There is great anticipation surrounding the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Those wishing legitimately to profit from the commercial opportunities that may flow from the event must ensure they stay within the bounds of what is permitted — and so-called ‘ambush marketing’ isn’t!

Explains Irshaad Moidheen, an Associate at Garlicke & Bousfield Inc., “Ambush marketing is the illegitimate and opportunistic use by a third party of a sponsored event (such as the World Cup) to gain a benefit, whether direct or indirect.”
South Africa, at the behest of FIFA, has taken precautions to protect the official sponsors from ambush marketing which is specifically prohibited by section 15A of the Merchandise Marks Act. Relying on this section, the Minister of Trade and Industry has designated the World Cup as a “protected” event since May 2006 and shall continue for a period of six months thereafter. During that time no person may advertise, market or associate its brand with the 2010 FIFA World Cup without the prior written consent of FIFA.
He says the extent to which FIFA is flexing its muscles in regard to advertising is evident in the recent landmark judgment in Gauteng in the case of FIFA v Metcash. Metcash marketed lollypops under the name “2010 POPS” coupled with images of the South African flag and footballs. Claiming that Metcash had intended to derive special promotional benefit from the World Cup, FIFA sought an interdict to prevent Metcash from competing unlawfully by marketing in breach of section 15A of the Act. Metcash claimed that its product was merely associated with soccer in general but the court found no merit in this contention and granted the interdict.
FIFA’s website contains guidelines in regard to the ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ of marketing in order to prevent ambush marketing. Examples of the forms of advertising deemed to be legitimate include: an advertisement using reference to general football terms and imagery not associated with any FIFA or World Cup marks and symbols; merchandising articles of clothing bearing general football terms and imagery or terms and imagery relating but not associated with or alluding to the World Cup.
Says Moidheen, “Entrepreneurs should, therefore, seize the opportunities afforded by the hosting of the event in South Africa but they must do so legitimately and not fall foul of the FIFA regulations and other legislation implemented by government to protect the event.”

Copyright © Insurance Times and Investments® Vol:23.4 1st April, 2010
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