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Unofficial National Carrier of the You-Know-What

FIFA vs Kulula Air, round two

Rhea Singh  Mar 23, 2010

Budget airline Kulula had felt FIFA's wrath yesterday when the world football authority blocked their ad in which it said that it was the 'Unofficial National Carrier of the You-Know-What'.

FIFA felt that the ads - framed by soccer balls, soccer players, vuvuzelas (horns), and in the green and blue Kulula colour - pushed the limits of the copyright on the combined use of these symbols too far.

Kukula, in turn, felt that FIFA's reaction had been a "bit over the top," and that it was extreme to claim association with the representation of everything that relates to the World Cup including the South African flag and vuvuzelas.

The airline vowed that there would definitely will be another ad, and they stuck to their word. Only this time they are wittier! In yesterday’s Sunday Times, Kulula seemed to mock FIFA's approach to marketing that ties any company to the World Cup by publishing a full page ad which refers to 2010 as ‘Not next year, not last year, but somewhere in between’. Since FIFA has a problem with the South African flag being used, an ad on the borders has two hanging pieces of cloth labelled, "Colourful beach towel? Flag?"

Knowing about the world football authority's feelings towards the use of vuvuzela's in advertisements, the ad is illustrated by golf tees which look a lot like a certain plastic trumpet but to reassure FIFA is labeled, "Definitely, definitely a golf tee'.

Continuing in the same spirit of not annoying FIFA, the ad is quick to point out, "No, they're running shoes" next to a pair of what appear to be football boots without studs, towards the bottom of the ad.

In the middle of the page is an imposing structure that, at first glance, looks like a football stadium. Kukula had been told that they cannot use the Cape Town Stadium in their ads. So, not wanting to offend the mighty FIFA, they assure you that structure is, in fact, ‘Storm's River suspension bridge’.

FIFA is notorious for their lack of a sense of humour. They are sure to react to this latest volley of advertising, but it certainly looks like they have met their match!

FIFA vs Kulula Air, round two
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