London: The South African government has passed Legislation that makes it a criminal offence to carry out ambush marketing and the International Cricket Council's (ICC) World Cup 2003 will be the first major event to benefit from this far-reaching Law. Pointing out the new development, Clifford Green, a lawyer for the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA) and the World Cup through a media release on Friday said that anyone engaging in "ambush marketing" either before or during the tournament would face the full force of the law.
"The ICC and UCBSA are committed to protecting sponsors of this event and the new Law gives them unequalled opportunities to act against unauthorised companies trying to use the event to gain exposure," Green said. "Lengthy jail sentences could await individuals participating in ambush marketing activities. Furthermore the UCBSA has the ability to block unauthorised tickets from entry to the matches, for example tickets obtained through ambush marketing activities."
ICC chief executive officer Malcolm Speed said, "This new Law sends out a very clear message to any company that might be contemplating ambushing the event or its sponsors. "In addition to any damages that they might be liable for, they are now risking jail if they act illegally." The global partners of the ICC World Cup are LG Electronics and Pepsi. The official sponsors are Hero Honda and South African Airways.