world cup heavies issue warning to agencies

01 October 1997

TWO HUNDRED advertising and promotional agencies around the globe have received warning letters from the organisers of soccer’s World Cup 98. These were mailed under the joint aegis of International Sports & Leisure (FIFA’s marketing agents) and the French committee responsible for organising the competition, Comité Français d’Organisation. The move is an attempt to foil the guerrilla marketing tactics used so successfully by Nike during the Atlanta Olympics, and protect the interests of the event’s twelve official sponsors - Adidas, Budweiser, Canon, Coca-Cola, Fuji Film, Gillette, JVC, MasterCard, McDonald’s, Opel, Philips and Mars. The letter warns that a specialist French legal team [recruited on the Marseilles waterfront?] will take action anywhere in the world against unauthorised use of World Cup branding, logos or mascots.