kicks own goal in cheeky PR stunt - 5th August 2002
mobile phone giant, Vodafone Group Plc <VOD.L>,
apologised on Monday for unwittingly encouraging two
streakers to run into the middle of a Tri-nations
rugby match wearing nothing, but the phone company's
sponsor of the Australian Wallabies rugby team, said
it sanctioned plans for a cheeky public relations
stunt ahead of Saturday's Bledisloe Cup match against
the company said it did not know the two men would
do anything illegal.
Australian managing director Grahame Maher said he
took a call from "a guy called Brett" last
week who asked if the company would back a publicity
stunt, but did not give details.
is not what we wanted to happen, this is not the outcome
we expected," Maher, who is well known for his
publicity stunts, told the Ten Network.
apologising for my part in it, which was taking the
call and encouraging him to do something."
two streakers ran on to the field at the Olympic stadium,
which is sponsored by dominant Australian telecom
company Telstra Corp Ltd <TLS.AX>, and disrupted
play until they were caught by security.
had the Vodafone logo and the brand-name of a new
mobile product painted on their bodies.
streakers crashed the game just as a New Zealand All
Blacks player was preparing to take a crucial penalty
kick, which he missed when play resumed. Australia
won 16-14 to retain the Bledisloe Cup.
police spokeswoman said one of the men was charged
with obscene exposure and bailed to appear in court
on August 22. The second man was issued with an infringement
were investigating further but refused to say whether
any action would be taken against Vodafone
Australia Rugby Union (ARU) distanced Vodafone from
the prank and accused the "real culprits"
of irresponsible behaviour.
this instance there has been an error of judgment
in relation to a promotion and we have accepted an
apology in that regard," an ARU official said
in a statement.
Rugby Union official website