World Cup-linked ads are ‘turn-off’

Advertising campaigns and brand sponsorship surrounding next month’s FIFA World Cup competition are failing to deliver the desired results and UK consumers are already displaying signs of fatigue with football-related marketing.

Research by Experian shows that 44% of consumers say they are turned off World Cup-related campaigns and 41% say they will be even less responsive to such campaigns if England is knocked out of the tournament.

Consumers say the greatest irritations are campaigns from companies they perceive to be “jumping on the World Cup bandwagon” or whose products have little or no relevance to the football tournament.

David Coupe, managing director of Experian’s international marketing services division, says: “Consumers admit to being very responsive to well targeted, relevant World Cup offers but will not look twice at a promotion if they think the company’s link with the tournament or football is tenuous.

“The most successful campaigns will demonstrate the company’s authenticity, heritage and an identifiable link with the World Cup.”

Further research by ICM for Van Communications, shows that while official World Cup sponsors Coca-Cola and Budweiser have unprompted World Cup awareness levels of 13% and 10% respectively, nine of the other official sponsors have yet to see unprompted awareness levels reach more than 1% of the population.

Official sponsor Adidas has the same level of unprompted awareness as Nike (8%) – proof of Nike’s ambush marketing ability.

Prompted awareness levels show a more positive picture for sponsors, although Yahoo! – with a prompted awareness of 8% – is in 14th place out of a total of 15 sponsors, a surprising result considering the role the internet is expected to play in coverage of this year’s competition.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here