By Colleen Dardagan
Low-cost airline Kulula.com has fallen foul of Fifa's fierce marketing laws and been forced to pull all its advertising linked to fares over the World Cup period.
The carrier has a reputation for irreverent, tongue-in-cheek marketing campaigns, but this time, according to Fifa, it has gone too far.
A multimedia marketing campaign that featured advertisements with the headline, the Unofficial National Carrier of the You-Know-What, showing stylised pictures depicting the Cape Town stadium, soccer balls, vuvuzelas and a football player has been withdrawn following a letter from Fifa threatening the airline with damages.
The campaign, which is drawing an increasing following on the Internet, also challenged other carriers to keep their fares low during the World Cup.
The airline broke the news on Twitter, saying: "Oh dear, letter from Fifa's lawyers says we broke their trademark of the use of 'South Africa'.
"Fifa is complaining. They said we cannot depict the Cape Town stadium . soccer balls ... the word South Africa, the national flag, can't make any reference to the World Cup and cannot use the vuvuzela.
Fifa said its lawyers had contacted the airline to tell them that the advert breached South Africa's law against ambush marketing by seeking to gain a promotional benefit for the Kulula brand by creating an unauthorised association with the 2010 World Cup.