The IPKat has been reading with concern of the latest developments in South Africa, drawn to his attention by Dan Guildford. In "Scramble for sponsorship in 2010", popular football magazine When Saturday Comes (a.k.a. WSC) gives an account of the sad life and times of FIFA in its attempts to ensure that only official sponsors may advertise and promote their brands at the forthcoming soccer World Cup. Their treatment of non-sponsor Kulula Airlines seems particularly harsh. According to WSC:
"FIFA say that the company, known for their quirky adverts, had sought "to gain a promotional benefit by creating an unauthorised association with the 2010 FIFA World Cup". The Kulula advertisement used the national flag, footballs, and plastic vuvuzela trumpets, and according to FIFA it is the “combined use of these elements" which is banned.Techdirt carries illustrations of Kulula's advertisement (above), to which FIFA took exception, as well as the now presumably acceptable form (below).
Kulula's response to the ban has been dignified and hilarious. They initially withdrew the offensive adverts and said: "We're surprised at this FIFA complaint but have to be respectful because FIFA has very stringent rules." Then they hit back with a second, full-page advertisement in the Sunday Times on March 21, which mocks FIFA's approach to any marketing associating an unlicensed company with South Africa in 2010. The page reads: "Not next year, not last year, but somewhere in between."
The centre shows a bridge strongly resembling the Cape Town World Cup stadium. It is then illustrated with golf tees which look like vuvuzela, but are labelled: "Definitely, definitely a golf tee." Around the border hang pieces of cloth with the question: "Colourful beach towel? Flag?" And at the bottom a man stands in footballer-like pose wearing boot-like footwear, but without studs. The caption reads: "They're running shoes."".
Asks Merpel, is this the same South Africa that passionately defended the right to free speech against trade mark enforcement in SABMiller v Laugh It Off Promotions (the BLACK LABOUR case)?