When guerrilla goes wrong – or is it right?

I read with amusement that ITV has suspended Robbie Earl over his ‘naivety’ for selling his allowance of World Cup tickets to a third party. Even more interesting is what that third party – Dutch brewery Bavaria NV – allegedly did with the tickets.

During the Holland v Denmark game at Soccer City, it became clear as hoards of female fans wearing skimpy orange outfits, which were originally sold with packs of the beer prior to the tournament, appeared in the stands. Despite the outfits containing no branding (but that does look like an augmented reality graphic), Fifa proceeded to chuck them out as it only allows its official partners to use the World Cup for advertising and promotion campaigns – and Bavaria NV is not one of them. It also threatening the brewery with legal action.

The brewery denies the charge, of course. But, the sheer volume of column inches that have  appeared referencing the beer since the incident (I’d never even heard of them before this) have been significant and valuable, which makes me think that this was no happy accident. It’s certainly a high risk strategy, especially when a behemoth like Fifa is involved,  but I applaud the agency that persuaded the brand to something as subversive as this. Perhaps they even tipped ITV off about Robbie Earl to penetrate the UK media…now that would be clever.

Image courtesy of gnews pics used under Creative Commons

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