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By unknown | Jun 06, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sowetan Reporter

Sowetan Reporter

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has found MTN guilty of ambush marketing, imitation and causing confusion in a tussle with Vodacom about Bafana Bafana.

The ASA has ordered MTN to pay Vodacom's costs of the appeal.

Vodacom had complained to The ASA about an MTN advertisement which read "Turning young men into Bafana Bafana", "MTN, proud sponsor of the MTN Cup" and MTN, proud sponsor of the MTN Under-16 Cup".

As sponsor of the South African Football Association (Safa) and the national team Bafana Bafana, Vodacom argued that the MTN advertisement created the impression that there was a connection between MTN and Bafana Bafana.

MTN, on the other hand, argued that Bafana Bafana is the colloquial name for the team. MTN also said that the advert clearly stated the event with which MTN associated itself.

The phrase "Turning young men into Bafana Bafana" referred to its commitment to developing young soccer players.

The ASA's sponsorship appeals committee ruled that the reasonable reader could be confused and think that MTN sponsored Bafana Bafana.

The committee found MTN to be in breach of the ASA Sponsorship Code (Imitation and Confusion), which says that "imitation of the representation of other sponsorships should be avoided if this misleads or generates confusion, even when applied to non-competitive products, companies or events".


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