Fifa detains 36 female Holland fans for 'ambush marketing'

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In the Holland vs Denmark 2010 World Cup game at Soccer City, 36 female Dutch fans were removed from the game and detained by Fifa officials because they accused them of promoting and unlicensed beer brand by wearing orange mini-dresses.  Fifa only allows promotional activity by firms that have official Fifa sponsor status, so will not tolerate this kind of "ambush marketing".

A spokesman for the Bavaria beer company denied that the women had any links to their campaign, and said the group had been detained in a Fifa office for several hours. "It's a nice dress. Very fashionable," Peer Swinkels told the Star. "In my opinion, people should have the right to wear whatever they want.

"We launched the orange item on 30 April on the queen's birthday. The Dutch people are a little crazy about orange and we wear it on public holidays and events like the World Cup. There is no branding on the dresses. And Fifa don't have a monopoly over orange."

One of the women, Barbara Kastein, told a local newspaper: "We were sitting near the front, making a lot of noise, and the cameras kept focusing on us. We were singing songs and having a good time. But in the second half, about 40 stewards surrounded us and forced us to leave the stadium. They pushed us up the stairs, and one of the girls fell."

Kastein said the women were questioned by Fifa, and then by the police. "The police came and kept on asking us the same questions over and over, asking if we worked for Bavaria. They said we were ambush-marketing and it was against the law in South Africa. They said we would be arrested and would stay in jail for six months. Girls were crying. It was bad.

"A police van took us back to our hotel and they wanted my passport. They made a copy and said they would investigate. They said they would sue me. All of this for wearing an orange dress."

Fifa told the Star newspaper there were no arrests and that "several young South African women were used by a large Dutch brewery as an instrument for an ambush-marketing campaign".

Unwittingly, have FIFA made this campaign a huge success?  We think so ;)  Get in contact if you want to explore some unconventional marketing ideas.

Ambush Marketing

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