MOSCOW, June 27 (Reuters) - Russia’s top bank Sberbank removed a reference to the FIFA World Cup in its advertising after receiving a complaint from a company defending the rights of global soccer’s governing body, a source with knowledge of the situation said on Wednesday.
On the day after Russia thrashed Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the tournament’s opening match, the bank sent a advertisement to its clients regarding a new deposit option where it referred to the 2018 FIFA World, a source close to Sberbank said.
Days later, Sberbank received a notice from Russia-based AIS Agency, which protects FIFA’s interests in the country, which said use of the World Cup’s brand name had not been agreed upon with FIFA.
The source said that Sberbank did not have time to discuss the possible use of the World Cup brand with FIFA given that it was eager to present the new deposit plan to its clients as soon as possible.
The source added that the advertising was later corrected to remove the reference to the tournament.
“The bank is working with FIFA representatives,” Sberbank said in comments e-mailed to Reuters. “All comments are being taken into account and the necessary work is being done.”
FIFA protects its brand and that of its sponsors and partners.
“The protection of the commercial rights is crucial for staging the event,” FIFA says in its guidelines on the use of its official marks, referring to the World Cup in Russia.
“FIFA asks that non-affiliated entities respect FIFA’s intellectual property and conduct their activities without commercially associating with the event.”
FIFA could not be reached for immediate comment on Wednesday. AIS Agency referred questions to FIFA.
Reporting by Tatiana Voronova and Gabrielle Tétrault-Farber; editing by Jason Neely