/ 19 March 2010

Kulula to continue with World Cup ad campaign

Kulula To Continue With World Cup Ad Campaign

Kulula is already designing another advertisement to replace one that soccer body Fifa forced it to withdraw, a spokesperson said on Friday.

Heidi Brauer, marketing director for the airline, said the offending advertisement was part of a campaign to communicate to passengers that it was not charging higher prices for the World Cup.

“The media was quite vocal about high prices from the airlines and hotel industry and this was the first advertisement in the campaign that communicates this to passengers,” she said.

“There will definitely be another ad.”

Brauer said Fifa lawyers sent a letter to the airline to force it to withdraw the advertisement about a week after it was first published.

“They felt we pushed the limits of their copyright too far,” said Brauer.

Kulula published the advertisement that it was the “Unofficial national carrier of the ‘You-know-what’,” a couple of weeks ago. The advertisement, in the usual Kulula green and blue, was framed with soccer balls, vuvuzelas, soccer players and the South African flag.

Fifa has copyright on the use of these symbols in conjunction with each other.

People started speaking about the advertisement and Fifa’s actions on Facebook and Twitter, and the issue was picked up by the national media this week.

Brauer said Kulula was aware of Fifa’s copyright rules, but felt the soccer body was “a bit over the top”.

“We knew we were on the edge and pushing the limits, but that’s what Kulula does,” she said.

“We think it is a bit extreme to claim association with the representation of everything that relates to the World Cup belongs to Fifa. It belongs to South Africa. South Africa belongs to South Africa.”

Brauer said Kulula respected other companies’ trade marks, but that did not mean it understood or agreed with Fifa’s position.

“We portrayed the South African flag, soccer balls, soccer players, vuvuzelas. That’s what’s going on in South Africa at the moment,” she said.

“Their point was that we were trying to make ourselves look like an official sponsor, which was not our intention at all.”

Fifa was not immediately available for comment. — Sapa