Magazine article Marketing

FIFA Accuses Pepsi of 'Ambush' Campaigns

Magazine article Marketing

FIFA Accuses Pepsi of 'Ambush' Campaigns

Article excerpt

World Cup organiser FIFA has ordered Pepsi to pull a campaign in Argentina and is investigating similar campaigns in Mexico, Ecuador and Russia in a global clampdown on 'ambush marketing'.

FIFA has accused Pepsi of using 'below-the-belt' techniques that imply it is an official sponsor of the World Cup tournament, when in fact its rival Coca-Cola has paid pounds 20m for that privilege.

The action is the latest of around 500 legal cases by FIFA, which is determined to stamp out guerrilla tactics by non-sponsors. FIFA said it had achieved a court ruling in Argentina banning a Pepsi TV and press ad that suggested a 'presumed sponsorship relationship' between Pepsi and the FIFA World Cup.

The campaign is said to have put the words 'Tokyo 2002' alongside famous footballers and associated them with the Pepsi logo.

'FIFA regrets that corporations engage in ambush marketing activities and is particularly disappointed to see a global company like Pepsi employing these below-the-belt techniques that harm the World Cup. They should know better,' said Patrick Magyar, chief executive of FIFA Marketing. …

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