On the 8th June 2021, the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) issued a statement to flag situations of abusive use of the National Football Team´s brand in a communication campaign promoted by a whiskey brand. Besides relating the presence of Portugal in the European Championship 2020, it is stated that the commercial communication at issue is associated with sports betting or forecasting, practices which FPF fully repudiates.
FPF further stated that it will take all necessary measures to prevent the National team's trademark from being used improperly by those who do not have the right to do so.
Following this event, the FPF and the Advertising Self-Regulation entity (ARP) took the opportunity to caution professionals of the sector to the dangers of ambush marketing regarding the European Football Championship 2020. Those entities recalled that any commercial activity related to the competition is exclusively reserved to UEFA and its commercial partners who have signed an agreement for this purpose.
In turn, Primedrinks, the company responsible for the distribution and supply of the brand of whisky reportedly in question, argued that the commercial communication object of criticism complies with all the legal rules and principles applicable to advertising.
In Portugal, there is still no specific legislation which outlaws ambush marketing per se, although some specific rules were brought into force to prevent unauthorized commercial association with major sport events, as was the case with the final stage of the European Football Championship of 2004 (Euro 2004) (Decree-Law 86/2004 of April 17) and (the the European Under–21 Tournament 2006 (Decree-Law 84-A/2006 of May 19).
Notwithstanding, given the absence of regulation on this matter, where event organizers and their official sponsors have felt aggrieved by the ambushing of events by third parties, they have generally sought redress through more traditional forms of intellectual property protection, such as trade mark infringement, unfair competition, copyright infringement and breach of contract.
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