Monday, November 29, 1999

Dutch women get bail over ambush marketing

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A South African court gave two Dutch women accused of a World Cup ambush marketing campaign for a brewer 10,000 rand ($1,319) each bail and postponed the case for a week, police said on Wednesday."Their passports were confiscated and their case has been postponed to June 22," said Colonel Vish Naidoo, spokesman for the police.The two were linked to a suspected ambush market campaign by brewer Bavaria at a World Cup tie."These women, who have been part of a larger group, are suspected to be involved in organised acts to conduct unlawful commercial activities during the Denmark/Netherlands match on Monday," South African police said in a statement on Wednesday.The arrests came after FIFA questioned a group of 36 Dutch women who were watching the match in Soccer City stadium on Monday in skimpy orange dresses.The dresses produced by family-owned Dutch brewer Bavaria caught the eye of experts on the lookout for ambush marketing campaigns.'NOT CORRECT'Dutch officials said the arrest of the two women was "disproportionate"."The Netherlands Minister of Foreign Affairs stated today that he thought that the arrests of the ladies were disproportionate and thinks that it's not correct that they might face jail time for wearing an orange dress to the football stadium," Dutch embassy spokesman Christophe Prommersberger told journalists outside the Johannesburg Magistrate court.Anheuser Busch's Budweiser is the official beer for the tournament and world soccer's governing body fiercely protects its sponsors from brands which are not FIFA partners.FIFA has started legal proceedings against the Dutch brewer."FIFA has filed charges against the organiser of the ambush marketing stunt pulled between the Netherlands-Denmark match at Soccer City two days ago," spokesman Nicolas Maingot said at FIFA's daily news briefing.South Africa's wheels of justice have moved with haste to deal with cases related to a soccer World Cup tournament in the past week.A special court devoted to World Cup cases on Saturday sentenced two men to 15 years each for robbing World Cup journalists from Portugal and Spain.Bavaria has clashed with FIFA before over supporters wearing its orange clothes to stadiums.Four years ago at the Germany World Cup scores of Dutch men watched the Netherlands play in a Stuttgart stadium in their underwear after stewards ordered them to remove orange lederhosen bearing the name of Bavaria.Meanwhile, British TV pundit Robbie Earle has been sacked by ITV terrestrial television company after tickets found in the women's possession were traced back to the former Jamaica international.In a statement on Tuesday ITV said: "Immediate investigations indicated that a block of ITV tickets would appear to have been used for unauthorised purposes during the Holland v Denmark match."Further inquiries have revealed that a substantial number of tickets allocated to Robbie Earle for family and friends have been passed to a third party in breach of FIFA rules.(Additional reporting by Harro ten Wolde in Amsterdam and Lynette Ndabambi in Johannesburg, editing by Nigel Hunt/Jon Bramley;To query or comment on this story email
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