Friday, March 19, 2010

Fifa Slaps Down 'Unofficial National Carrier'

Fifa can be a little, oh, fascistic when it comes to defending its marketing rights.

The budget air-carrier Kulula has received a cease-and-desist letter from Fifa's Thought Police in regards to an advertising campaign, the Johannesburg Star reports.

Kulula's ads had identified it as the "Unofficial National Carrier of You-Know-What."

Apparently, using words which might make you think of South Africa 2010 makes Fifa angry. The campaign might seem clever to you or me, but to Fifa it is "ambush marketing."

The airline fired back at Boss Fifa in a tweet:

"Oh dear, letter from Fifa's lawyers says we broke their trademark of the use of 'South Africa' and think our non-WC ad was about soccer ...

"Even the use of our national flag was an issue. It's absolutely outrageous. We've signed over our country, its symbols and our economy to one Sepp Blatter. Nasty."

Sepp is Fifa's President for Life. (Or he behaves as if he is, anyway.) He and his drones are beyond zealous (maniacal?) in protecting the advertising exclusivity of its official partners because Fifa likes the money the partners kick into the kitty, and want to charge at least as much at Brazil 2014.

"They said we cannot depict the Cape Town stadium, we can't use soccer balls, or the word 'South Africa', and the depiction of the national flag is not allowed," said the Kulula marketing manager Nadine Damen.

"We can't make any reference to the World Cup. They also told us we cannot use the vuvuzela, which, in our view, is representative of the people of South Africa and their love of football."

The vuvuzela is the annoying plastic horn that has become the symbol, almost, of South African soccer fans. Didn't think you could own the intellectual rights to the big brother of a kazoo? In Fifa's world, apparently you can.

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