marketing under fire, by Amanda Swinburn - 19th
pop up at sports games, interrupt news programs and
assail celebrities. Love them or hate them, ambush
marketersthe marketing equivalent of streakersget
Australia, businessman Kym Illman, whose Perth-based
company Messages on Hold creates tailor-made audio
productions for businesses to play to their callers
while on hold, has claimed ambush marketing as his
he started the business in 1988, Illman found that
he faced the same problem as many new business ownersplenty
of ideas but no marketing budget. So he knocked out
a few signs with his logo on them and paid a couple
of teenagers to go to a West Coast Eagles game and
wave the sign in front of the cameras.
had just started but we wanted to give the impression
of being a market leader, so we had to think of ways
of getting our logo out there. The response was so
good we have used the strategy ever since, Illman
group has come up with all manner of brazen stunts
to build its notoriety, allowing the company to take
advantage of millions of dollars of free advertising
and develop a distinct personality and reputation
as one of Asia Pacifics most savvy marketers.
The business now services 9,000 companies in the Asia
Pacific and has a $13m turnover.
Renee Rivkin came to court we did a picture of him
in a convict suit with our logo on his chest. Ive
had people stand behind cricketers in Kenya with t-shirts
on, and weve even put fake sick on the floor
at the cricket to clear a couple of rows so we could
get enough space to ensure TV coverage, Illman
the Queen has been a Messages on Hold victim and Sir
Richard Branson, one of the worlds great businessmen
and a renowned ambush marketer, was ambushed by the
Messages On Hold team on his recent Australian tour.
its not just lesser-known brands such as Message
on Hold that have undertaken these types of stunts.
Big names such as XXXX, Coke, Virgin and Qantas have
come under fire for hijacking events they have not
of the London Mara-thon, Nick Bitel, has described
ambush marketing not simply as parasitic marketing
but as marketing by parasites, and likens
it to theft.
Victorian Government has enacted the Commonwealth
Games Arrangements Act 2001 to prevent aerial advertising
in the vicinity of the 2006 Commonwealth Games, and
a one kilometre exclusion zone for unauthorised new
advertising is being passed by Victorias parliament.
The bill also provides for an authorised register
of users of Commonwealth Games images.
the Games the Federal Government plans to increase
security at Melbourne Airport and may also restrict
air space above Games venues to maintain security
and protect official sponsors from ambush marketing.