Fifa and Bavaria make peace as women walk free

Bavaria Beer website: massive rise in search rank following World Cup stunt
Bavaria Beer website: massive rise in search rank following World Cup stunt

Fifa has dropped legal action against Bavaria, the Dutch brewer linked with an ambush marketing stunt at the World Cup, and the two Dutch women accused of organising the stunt have walked free from jail.

In a statement, Fifa clarified the position: "Bavaria N.V. and Fifa have today reached a settlement agreement, which means that all parties have agreed to drop any claims and also not to make any further comments related to this matter."
 
"The Bavaria N.V. has agreed to fully respect the integrity of FIFA's commercial programme until the end of the year 2022."

Anheuser Busch InBev brand Budweiser is currently the official beer sponsor for the 2010 World Cup, a deal that is expected to carry on until 2022.

Bavaria declined to comment. An AB InBev spokesman said: "We were not involved in this legal matter and therefore unaware of the details of the settlement."

Barbara Castelein and Minte Immy Nieuwpoort, who faced criminal proceedings, have been released from jail and allowed to return to the Netherlands.

Last Wednesday, the pair appeared in a Johannesburg magistrate's court charged with contravening the South African Merchandise Marks Act.

They were part of a 36-strong group of female supporters dressed in orange mini-dresses at the Holland vs Demark game last Monday. The dresses had been associated with the Bavaria beer brand as they had been given away with packs of Bavaria beer in Holland.

Castelein and Nieuwpoort added in a joint statement: "We are happy to go home and that the situation has been resolved."

ITV pundit Robbie Earle became embroiled in the scandal and was sacked after tickets allocated to him for friends and family ended up in the hands of women attending the match.

The publicity surrounding the arrests made www.bavaria.com, which previously had no measurable traffic, the fifth most visited beer website in the UK last Tuesday behind Carling, Cobra, official World Cup beer sponsor Budweiser and Carlsberg, according to the online intelligence service Experian Hitwise.

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