ITV World Cup pundit sacked after tickets are used in 'Ambush Marketing' attempt
Wed 16th Jun 2010 | Marketing & PR
Robbie Earle, the ITV World Cup pundit, has been sacked by the broadcaster after tickets for his family and friends were passed on to a third party.
After yesterday’s report of a group of female Dutch fans being ejected from the stadium during the Denmark v Holland game in an apparent ‘ambush marketing’ attempt by a Dutch Brewery, it has been claimed that their tickets had been traced back to Earle.
ITV said a "substantial number" of tickets for the Denmark v Holland match on Monday had been passed on, breaching Fifa rules.
In a statement Earle said: "I didn't think I was doing anything wrong."
He added: "I hope when people hear the full story they will see me in a different light. I have absolutely no connection with any marketing ambush agency and have not profited in any way from these tickets."
ITV's full statement said: "Following claims by FIFA that official 2010 World Cup tickets may have been used for ambush marketing, ITV has reviewed its entire ticket allocation for the tournament," the TV network said in a statement.
"Immediate investigations indicated that a block of ITV tickets would appear to have been used for unauthorised purposes during the Holland v Denmark match.
"Further enquiries have revealed that a substantial number of tickets allocated to Robbie Earle for family and friends have been passed to a third party in breach of FIFA rules.
"As a result, Robbie Earle's contract with ITV has been terminated with immediate effect."
The announcement comes after officials ejected 36 women who were wearing orange mini-dresses during Holland's game against Denmark.
The women were accused of "ambush marketing" for a brand of beer.
Members of the group, accused of promoting a brand that is not one of the tournament's official sponsors, were found with tickets understood to have been part of Earle's allocation.
The tickets' terms and conditions stipulate they must not be passed on or sold to anyone else.
Earle, 45, an ambassador for England's 2018 World Cup bid, played for Wimbledon and Port Vale as well as for Jamaica in the 1998 World Cup.
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