Durban served Pepsi to Cup volunteers in ‘error’

2010-07-02 12:16

The handing out of Pepsi soft drinks to World Cup volunteers in

Durban instead of the official sponsor Coca-Cola’s product was a “delivery

error”, a city spokesperson said.

“The incidence whereby an inappropriate drink brand was served to

volunteers at the Fifa fan fest was a delivery error from our suppliers and

there was nothing sinister or deliberate about it,” said city spokesperson Thabo

Mofokeng yesterday.

Earlier this week, many of the city’s Cup volunteers had their bags

searched and the Pepsi cans in their free lunch packs were confiscated and

thrown into rubbish bins at the Durban beach Fifa fan fest.

This was after Coca-Cola, the only soft drink brand allowed within

the area, was informed that more than 500 volunteers were served with its rival

drink, Pepsi.

The 500ml Pepsi cans were distributed by city officials from their

temporary offices at Blue Waters Hotel.

“We were shocked when our bags were searched and our drinks thrown

into rubbish bins. It was very embarrassing because it was done in full view of

many people. Some people were angry and refused to be searched,” said one

volunteer, who confirmed that Pepsi had been served for days before they were

stopped.

Mofokeng said he had been informed by Ronell Mitchell of the city’s

procurement and infrastructure special projects that Pepsi cans landed in their

offices by mistake.

Mofokeng said the distribution of Pepsi cans was stopped

immediately after they were alerted to the problem. “We are well aware that

Coca-Cola is the only brand allowed within the area, and what happened was a

delivery mistake.”

The city said the drinks were not donated.

Fifa recently accused Dutch brewery Bavaria of ambush marketing

after a group of more than 30 women, all dressed in orange mini-skirts, attended

a Soccer World Cup match between the Netherlands and Denmark at Soccer City,

Johannesburg, on June 14.

The minis were handed out in Bavaria gift packs in the Netherlands

ahead of the World Cup.

The women were taken in for questioning and eventually two of them,

whom Fifa accused of being the organisers of the campaign, were arrested and

later released.


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