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Ambush Marketing Legal Issues

The court said that, while aggressive, Pepsi`s advertising is not illegal and that the NHL is to blame for not protecting its official sponsor. No trademark infringement has been established. However, this decision slowly favors ambush marketing, because as long as there is no branding and trademark counterfeiting, you can do just about anything. Most importantly, if there is any doubt as to whether a marketing campaign could constitute ambush marketing, seek legal advice before launching the campaign. It may be too late (and very expensive) to solve problems once the campaign is launched. Our sister blog Sports Shorts has already reported several times on ambush marketing, including FIFA`s attempts to prevent ambush marketing during the 2018™ FIFA World Cup. The ambush marketing concept may be reminiscent of advertising stunts such as 36 young women participating in a 2010 FIFA World Cup match between the Netherlands and Denmark while wearing matching clothes worn by the Bavaria brand (a Dutch brewery). A similar, perhaps more egregious, incident occurred recently during the Champions League final, during which a woman dressed in designer clothes ran onto the pitch during the match. This type of “intrusion ambush” can make headlines and attract the attention of global viewers, as well as spectators in stadiums and other venues. For brands considering engaging in practices that might be called digital ambush marketing, there are a few important questions to consider.

Ambush marketing not only harms the value of the celebrity`s brand, but also causes financial damage to the celebrity and the brands it promotes. Such a practice is a competition in bad faith; When a competitor jumps in on his moment to milk money and create his own opportunity. In such cases, it will only be right for the celebrity to be paid fairly. In this scenario, brands and businesses put a lot of thought and cunning into their marketing strategies before tackling ambush marketing. As a result, the majority of ambush marketing can be done while remaining within the limits of Indian law. It is important to combat ambush marketing by enacting new laws, with companies adopting innovative digital means to engage in unethical ambush marketing. New legislation is crucial, as it is difficult for a claimant to seek redress quickly when there is a regulatory loophole on this issue. While digital marketing can be a smart use of a brand`s advertising budget, it`s arguably riskier in the context of events that don`t generate significant sponsorship revenue. This is not an exhaustive list of topics to consider, and risks vary depending on the content of the advertising campaign and the particular event or contest. Therefore, brands must ensure that they seek legal advice before launching an advertising campaign, which carries the risk of being classified as ambush marketing.

There were many examples of this type of marketing at the 2018™ FIFA World Cup. For example, retail brand Wish ran a well-received campaign that focused on the activities of some big players who wouldn`t be present at this tournament, such as Gareth Bale and Gianluigi Buffon. Such high-level contests offer advertisers fertile ground to carry out this type of marketing campaign. However, many ambush marketers are so sophisticated that they know they shouldn`t use an event sponsor`s brand, and their behavior, while annoying, usually doesn`t reach the level of deception or injustice. Because ambush marketing cannot break any law, it can be difficult for promoters and official sponsors to prevent or mitigate the damage caused by ambush marketing. But there are a number of strategies: it may be easier to think that light-ambush digital marketing is a benign phenomenon if it only affects the upper echelons of wealthier sports or well-known events. It becomes less acceptable to some viewers when it inhibits investment in minority sports, the basis of rich games or upcoming events. “I find news feeds extremely useful and relevant to my area of expertise and the issues facing my business. Since I`m very happy with the News Feed (it`s one of the best I have), I don`t have any suggestions for improvement at this point. In the digital age, brands are finding more subtle ways to connect with events, athletes, teams and competitions. Live sporting events also remain an “appointment display” in a media landscape that is largely oriented towards on-demand content. The large audience preparing for major tournaments is an almost irresistible target for marketing teams. Similarly, music festivals attract a dedicated audience (often with disposable income) and have a certain cultural seal of approval, making it very attractive for brands to be associated with them.

One of the difficulties in dealing with ambush marketing is that it often does not violate any law unless the ambush marketer uses the marks of an official organizer or sponsor, or commits unfair or deceptive behavior. State and federal laws prohibit a company from using another company`s trademark without permission in a way that creates confusion, such as including someone else`s trademark on a company`s product or to promote its own product or service. There are numerous state and federal laws on unfair competition and misleading advertising that prohibit companies from engaging in unfair competition or engaging fraudulently to market or sell their products. In exchange for these sponsorship fees, official sponsors usually receive exclusive rights to certain promotional opportunities such as banners at the racetrack, naming rights for tournaments or venues, as the official supplier of a team`s uniform or shoes, merchandise bindings, and VIP tickets. How will the target group react to the campaign? Of course, this can be difficult to assess, but given the potential ethical complexity associated with ambushed digital marketing, a poorly thought out marketing campaign can easily backfire. Celebrities/sports personalities are often trusted by viewers in terms of the brands they support. This trust exists because these people are highly respected in their fields. They are often highly appreciated and idolized and admired by millions of people. Celebrities convert this admiration into monetary form when they associate with and advertise a brand name.

When a brand, rival or competitor of the athlete-sponsor seizes the opportunity and interferes in ambush marketing, it creates an environment of deception for consumers. The above cases show that most of the remedies available to authorized organizers exist in cases where their intellectual property is infringed, which is not directly related to ambush marketing. Therefore, specific legislation is necessary to safeguard the interests of the organiser. As the name suggests, digital ambush marketing is not limited to traditional advertising media. Keyword advertising is one of the most commonly used tools in marketing. In general, it is permissible for a trademark to use the name of another trademark or a trademark of another trademark in keyword advertising, provided that the advertisement meets certain conditions, such as allowing the average consumer to determine the origin of the goods or services advertised. This is a kind of gap in relation to the monopoly rights granted to the owners of registered trademarks. Advertisers took the opportunity to market to consumers with keywords associated with specific events or contests. Buying such ad inventory allows brands to connect with their customers or potential customers without incurring the cost of an exclusive sponsorship agreement. Carlton is particularly focused on advising clients in the advertising, marketing and media sectors, as well as companies operating in the food and beverage, retail, automotive and technology sectors. Ambush marketing made headlines at the recent World Cup.

This note explains what ambush marketing is, why it can sometimes be illegal, and how businesses can avoid conflicting with ambush marketing rules when planning marketing activities and marketing campaigns. While ambush marketing can be perceived as a harmless competitive “event” between mega-companies, sponsors who pay the huge sponsorship fee know that this is a serious problem that dilutes the value of their sponsorship. To protect official sponsors, organizers and sponsors should spend time and money in the run-up to the event to plan the fight against ambush marketing. If nothing is done until the ambush marketer`s inflatable device appears above his head at the event or the T-shirts have been handed out right outside the arena, the damage is already done.