Pub owners fearful of being fined by Fifa

2010-05-18 00:00

FIFA’S stringently enforced brand monopoly on the 2010 World Cup is severely deterring restaurant, pub, tavern and shebeen owners from promoting their establishments as viewing areas during the football tournament starting next month.

“To be honest, we are too scared to promote our pub for the World Cup because of Fifa’s advertising laws, and running the risk of paying a fine.”

These were the words of Rudolph Jacobs, owner of Stagecoach Restaurant in Scottsville, who has not decorated his pub with World Cup signage or promotional material.

While it has been confirmed that the pubs and restaurants will not have to pay a public viewing fee to Fifa, their owners will have to be smart in their promotional and marketing campaigns so as not to fall foul of Fifa’s branding rules.

Licensed restaurants and bars will not be allowed to associate with any of the official sponsors of the event. This includes all World Cup branding and official World Cup products.

As a result, Pietermaritzburg restaurants and bars are having trouble in promoting themselves as World Cup viewing venues at a time when business has the potential to flourish through the patronage of football fans who will not be attending matches at the stadiums, official fan parks or public viewing areas.

The owner of The Bell Pub ’n Grill in Alan Paton Avenue, Gilbert Hall, has also been forced to work around Fifa laws in preparing for the World Cup, but will certainly not be losing out on the opportunity to promote his business during World Cup month.

Hall will be buying big-screen televisions and putting up a tent to accommodate football fans.

He has also set up a display behind his bar that supports the South African national football side, but omits any Fifa signage or anything officially relating to the World Cup.

“We are and will be doing what we normally do,” he said.

“We will also have a blackboard that will inform people of the games we will be showing on television that day, but nowhere on the board will there be World Cup or Fifa advertising,” said Hall.

Mavis Dladla, who owns Buddies Tavern in Sobantu, insists that World Cup games will be shown at her establishment, but says she has not heard anything about the criteria she needs to adhere to.

“Nobody has explained any such rules to us,” Dladla said.

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