Ben Sherman sews up World Cup ad push

Ben Sherman, the fashion retailer, is launching a controversial ad campaign with a World Cup theme and is planning to sponsor a TV football programme.

Ben Sherman, which spends 2m on advertising a year, is launching a print and poster campaign in April or May, through Grey Advertising. The ads will run on 48-sheet sites and in magazines including Sky, Loaded and FHM.

It has written scripts for a series of cinema ads as part of the campaign, but these have yet to be approved by the regulatory bodies, according to Ben Sherman marketing manager Nick Gray.

One cinema ad idea featured a poodle (representing France) being mounted by a bull dog (representing Britain), and another showed a bull dog urinating on a chihuahua (representing Mexico). Both scripts have been rejected by the Cinema Advertising Association.

The company has also approached the ITV sales house Carlton about the broadcast sponsorship of Fantasy Football, the programme ITV poached from the BBC last year, which stars David Baddiel and Frank Skinner.

Carlton is looking for a sponsor for the programme (MW December 18 1997). David Prosser, director of sponsorship at Carlton, says: “Ben Sherman has expressed some interest. We have had a lot of interest from a number of people, but no decision has been made. There should be a decision within the next few weeks.”

The shirtmaker will also be running a branding campaign in fashion titles, which include i-D, The Face, Dazed & Confused and attitude. These ads do not tie in with the World Cup.

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