World Cup 2014 ambush marketing guidelines devised by PRCA and Lewis Silkin
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil is just months away, however brands have already begun to market around the tournament, which has some strict sponsorship rules. As a result, communications organisation the PRCA and legal consultancy Lewis Silkin have partnered to offer guidance to brands not officially associated with the event around ambush marketing.
The guide, Ambush Marketing and the Law, has been devised following the Bavaria beer stunt, which saw models promoting the beer by wearing brightly coloured branded tshirts during a game, which caught the attention of television cameras and international media.
There are three types of ambush marketing, with guidance provided on each in order to help companies avoid falling foul of the law, including Ambush by Intrusion, where a non-sponsor gains access to the event in order to promote their brand, such as the Bavaria beer stunt.
For such activities, Lewis Silking advised; “This will normally be controlled by all event organisers by a provision in the ticket terms and conditions which prevents the display of any commercial messages without authorisation in the stadia. Contractual controls will also be deployed to ensure competing athletes and teams, officials and even volunteers do not use their moment in front of the cameras to promote an unauthorised brand.”
According to guidance on Ambush by Association; “A useful rule of thumb is that if you look at the advert and would almost expect to see an official sponsor logo at the end/in the corner of the advert because of the connection made to the event/team, it is likely to have crossed the line.
“On the other hand, if there is only a minor allusion or nod to the event, the risk will be much lower. In the context of Brazil 2014, this might be the use of a football theme, something that references Brazil or a nationalistic theme.”
Finally, advice around Opportunistic ambush/advertising, where brands attempt to use topical events to offer a response, such as Oreo’s Dunk in the Dark Super Bowl tweet from last year, it is advised that these are often negative as they attempt to capatalise on some form of failure. It states then that it is “hard to argue consumers will be misled or confused”? and therefore there are less likely to be any grounds for complaint.
The guidance has been created for PRCA members online and is available within the organisations Member’s Area on its website.