Airline flies in Fifa’s face with new ad

2010-03-20 15:00

DOMESTIC airline kulula was already designing ­another

advertisement to replace the one that soccer body Fifa has forced them to

withdraw, a spokesperson said on Friday.

Heidi Brauer, the marketing director for the airline, said the

offending advertisement was part of a campaign to communicate to passengers that

it was not charging higher prices for the World Cup.

“The media was quite vocal about high prices from the airlines and

hotel industry and this was the first advertisement in the campaign that

communicates this to passengers,” she said.

“There will definitely be another ad.”

Brauer said Fifa lawyers sent a letter to the airline forcing them

to withdraw the advertisement about a week after it was first published.

“They felt we pushed the limits of their copyright too far,” said


Kulula published the advertisement saying that they were the

“Unofficial national carrier of the ‘You-know-what’” a couple of weeks


The advertisement in the usual kulula green and blue was framed

with soccer balls, vuvuzelas, soccer players and the South African flag.

Fifa has copyright on the use of these symbols in conjunction with

each other.

People started speaking about the advertisement and Fifa’s actions

on Facebook and Twitter, and the issue was picked up by the national media this


Brauer said kulula was aware of Fifa’s copyright rules, but felt

the soccer body was “a bit over the top”.

“We knew we were on the edge and pushing the limits but that’s what

kulula does,” she said.

“We think it is a bit extreme to claim association with the

representation of everything that relates to the World Cup belongs to


“It belongs to South Africa. South Africa belongs to South


Brauer said kulula respected other companies’ trademarks, but that

did not mean they understood or agreed with Fifa’s ­position.

“We portrayed the South African flag, soccer balls, soccer players,


“That’s what’s going on in South Africa at the moment,” she


“Their point was that we were trying to make ourselves look like an

official sponsor, which was not our intention at all.”

Fifa was not immediately available for comment.

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