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Women arrested for suspected 'ambush' marketing One can only imagine what this much publicity would have cost had it been a planned marketing campaign. The issue of "ambush" marketing today sparked the arrest of two women, headlines around the world, and the anger of Dutch politicians. The women were arrested after what is suspected to have been a stunt by 36 women dressed in orange miniskirts at Monday's Netherlands-Denmark game. It was said to be a marketing push by Dutch brewer Bavaria NV. FIFA, soccer's governing body, said it was going after the two women who organized the move, but not the 34 others it considered "innocent local girls."
The Dutch brewer flew two women to South Africa, one of the women told Bloomberg News, and they in turn got the 34 other women to join them, all wearing the orange dresses. Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen slammed the police, according to Agence France-Presse.
"It is absurd that the two women have a jail term hanging over their heads for wearing orange dresses in a football stadium," Mr. Verhagen said. "If South Africa or FIFA wants to take a company to task for an illegal marketing action, they should start judicial procedures against the company and not against ordinary citizens walking around in orange dresses."
The brewer, according to Bloomberg, said it commissioned the dresses but they had no company branding. And a spokeswoman told the news agency that the women's wellbeing was its priority.
Budweiser is the official brewer of the World Cup, and, reports said, FIFA has so far filed more than 2,500 cases overall against those it accuses of ambush marketing. Whatever the genesis, and whatever the outcome, the publicity surrounding Bavaria has been huge given the headlines over miniskirts flashing around the world today. Read the story
BP cancels dividend BP PLC bowed to unrelenting pressure in the United States today and said it would not pay dividends for the rest of the year. The energy giant also said it was putting $20-billion (U.S.) into a fund over the next few years to meet compensation claims related to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, caused by an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in April. BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg announced the dividend move after a meeting between executives of the company and President Barack Obama in Washington. BP is also setting up a $100-million fund to help oil rig workers hurt by Mr. Obama's six-month moratorium on deep sea drilling. Read the story
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Magna responds to OSC Magna International Inc. said today it will work with the Ontario Securities Commission on concerns over the proposal to collapse the auto parts giant's dual-share structure, but that it believes everything was in order. The OSC yesterday argued the proposal to buy control from Frank Stronach should be blocked, saying certain elements of the deal are "contrary to the public interest." Magna responded today that while it will work with the regulator, it believes its "existing disclosure is complete, that Magna's board undertook a proper process, and that our shareholders should not be denied the opportunity to decide the outcome of the proposed transaction." Read the story
Russia buys Canadian dollars Russia has made good on a plan to add the Canadian dollar to its international reserves. Alexei Ulyukayev, the first deputy chairman of the country's central bank, said after an event hosted by Bloomberg News last night that "we have added the Canadian dollar but haven't yet begun operations" with the loonie. He told the news agency the central bank is also considering adding the Australian dollar.