kulula.com is the "Unofficial National Carrier of the You-Know-What" and Fifa, of course, did not like that at all! Fifa, the International Federation of Association Football, is very protective of its image rights and trademarks around the World Cup, and with less than three months to go to kick off on June 11th they have objected to a South African budget airline’s advertising.
The advert, as you can see, featured pictures of the stadiums, national flags, vuvuzelas (South African plastic trumpets) and the delightful tag line “Unofficial National Carrier for the You-Know-What”.
In order to avoid potential trouble and a big fine kulula.com has smartly pulled out the adverts last week as Fifa said the airline could not use the symbols - even the word "South Africa", kulula.com's spokeswoman said. Fifa, however, said the images taken together were "ambush marketing". Fifa is extremely powerful and you do now want to go against it.
"For the record, Fifa did not tell Kulula that they could not use soccer balls, or the word 'South Africa', or the Cape Town stadium, or the national flag or vuvuzelas," said a statement from football's world governing body, it was the combination of these elements which were banned. Fifa said the advert breached South African law "by seeking to gain a promotional benefit for the kulula brand by creating an unauthorised association with the 2010 Fifa World Cup". Fair enough.
Many people across the country have criticised Fifa's move, saying that football's world governing organisation does not own South Africa's soccer stadiums, soccer balls or vuvuzelas.
Kulula is known for its quirky adverts and aircraft designs; the one shown above is, they say, part of their ongoing strategy to demystify air travel, and the one below helped them to raise over half a million rand for the charity CHOC (Children’s Hematology Oncology Clinic Childhood Cancer Foundation of South Africa).
Well, what to say? These guys at Kulula are definetely creative and original. In just a few days they had great worldwide coverage and full support by the South African people! It definitely pays off to be brave!