Euro 96 hit by illegal sponsors

PepsiCo has joined the growing band of companies exploiting loopholes in the exclusivity protection given to Euro 96 sponsors. The defence rules were created by sponsorship and marketing firm ISL which is to serve injunctions against two companies it believes are acting illegally.

Pepsi-owned Pizza Hut has launched a 16-page promotional booklet with football magazine Goal for the event, circumventing the rules of official sponsorship by not using the logo or term “Euro 96”.

Sponsorship sources say it is easy to create an unauthorised association with Euro 96. Royal Mint set a precedent last year when ISL failed to prosecute it for a set of commemorative coins centred around the championships.

However, ISL says it has a substantial budget to deal with onsite seizures of pirate merchandise and to handle infringements.

ISL says it is about to serve two injunctions on firms it believes to be linking illegally with the championships.

Pizzaland has been asked to pay damages to ISL after it ran a promotion in The Daily Star last week using the Euro 96 logo which is trademarked.

ISL says it has staff specifically watching out for firms which illegally associate with Euro 96. It was unaware Pizza Hut had published a European Championships booklet and plans to investigate.

With only days to go before the championships kick off there are dozens of reports of infringements flooding into the ISL office as advertisers gear up for the event.

Sex products store Ann Summers has been targeted by ISL for the instore promotion it was running using the Euro 96 logo and two mannequins holding a soccer ball with the strapline “score with Euro 96”.

Scottish Courage has linked with bookmaker William Hill for an in-pub promotion using the event, despite Carlsberg-Tetley’s investment as one of the 11 official sponsors.

See Media, page 12

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