FIFA slaps a ban on cheeky advert

23 March 2010

banned kulula advertSporting events are great aren't they? Mankind's pointless physical endeavours are captured on a million cameras so we can all sit around, burping cheap booze and yelling at our screens telling them how to do whatever it is they do better.

However, away from the fun and pain of the sporting arena, The Big Sporting Festival can be a horrible, nasty, needy place with big-ass companies and sporting governing bodies losing all semblance of humour. The latest culprit is FIFA who have banned an advert from a South African budget airline. (probably thrilling at all this knock-on publicity) put out a tongue-in-cheek advert which saw FIFA complaining that they've infringed their trademark during the build-up to the 2010 World Cup.

What's ad did was to, with a wink and a nod, described their firm as the "Unofficial National Carrier of the You-Know-What" alongside pictures of stadiums, vuvuzelas and footballers and the like (you can see it on the right of this article).

The BBC said that FIFA reckon that the airline could not use football related symbols, going as far as saying that even the words "South Africa" weren't permitted. Unbelievable Jeff!

Of course, FIFA refute this (in an official statement): "For the record, Fifa did not tell Kulula that they could not use soccer balls, or the word 'South Africa', or the Cape Town stadium, or the national flag or vuvuzelas." The adspot breached South African law "by seeking to gain a promotional benefit for the kulula brand by creating an unauthorised association with the 2010 Fifa World Cup".

It's not the first time a sporting governing body has pulled a trick like this. A restaurant in Vancouver called The Olympia was asked to stop using the name - a name they'd had for 20 years - by the twats that run the Winter Olympics. Companies really are joyless bastards aren't they?

Anyway, you're probably not arsed about all this legal gubbins and are really wondering what the shitting crikey a vuvuzela is. Well, it's a South African plastic trumpet used by football fans. Now piss-off. The World Cup kicks off in South Africa on June 11th.

TOPICS:   Advertising   Consumer Advice


  • Nobby
    The domain name is up for grabs if anyone wants to get in trouble for unauthorised association.
  • Morocco
    What's the legality of buying and and selling it back to them for a massive profit? A friend wants to know.
  • alex
    we where learning about it the other day and if your only aim was to sell it on then they could go round you and get it directly however its relevant as if they wanted it they would have it already and london2012 sounds better and is how its referred to by most people
  • Andy
    AFAIK, no legaility issues. Buy and rake in the profit! :D
  • Gadget f.
    Erm, Andy - no legality issues? Passing off? Trademark infringement? Cybersquatting? I'm no expert but these are the things that immediately spring to mind as potential issues. I think there are also special regulations to protect the Olympics which may also come in to play. Indeed there are cases that suggest you could not sell the domain to anyone other than the london olympic, therefore what value does it have? Even if they want it (and they may not) they know you can't sell it to anyone else so aren't likely to offer you much (or anything) for it! Not worth the hassle I reckon.
  • JGN
    for £2.50.. worth a gamble surely. better odds than a lottery ticket!
  • Jack
    urgh someone already has it now
  • Jack
    Simon Grossman you knob! Its probably worth something, it was snapped up back in 2000 £2.50 a years its worth it. I sold for $600 a year or two ago (a mis-representation of the service that was supposed to go big). Mind I had to pay about $50 in commission.
  • Paul N.
    Does Simon Grossman happen to be a BW reader :D
  • FIFA B.
    [...] Gimmers, a writer at, presents an extreme reminder of the lengths that major sports governing bodies are prepared to go [...]

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