A large amount of promotional material belonging to the organisation which runs the Rugby World Cup ended up across the front of a Dublin pub — even though it was supposed to have been binned.
Julie O’Mahony, senior in-house counsel for the Rugby World Cup, said she spotted the posters and signage as she was driving through Dublin on a break at home during the event last autumn.
She told delegates at last week’s Law Society conference on sport and the law that it was just one of a number of issues that cropped up during the tournament, which took place in England and Wales and which was ultimately won by New Zealand.
In her presentation at the conference, which was held at the Fota Resort, she outlined measures taken by organisers of the event to tackle issues such as the sale of counterfeit tickets on re-sale sites and the use of ‘ambush marketing’ by firms.
However, she then recounted her trip back to Dublin when she spotted the promotional material spread across the facade of the well-known bar.
“I nearly crashed the car,” she said. “This was our property.”
Ms O’Mahony said that a contractor had been hired to dispose of the material when the organisation’s Dublin office was relocating, adding that the material was “sold to a man, who sold it to a man”.
“It took us a while to make contact with the individual,” she said.
None of the rights had been acquired for the individual players who featured on the material, but World Cup organisers came to an arrangement whereby the material was allowed to stay up for the duration of the tournament.
She also referred to a well-known and popular message board deployed by bookmaker Paddy Power in central Cardiff during the tournament and which also included images of former and current players.
The billboard was titled ‘The world is in union against England’ and allowed members of the public to write messages on the board which was then to be conveyed to English rugby HQ.
However, Rugby World Cup contacted the players depicted in the billboard images and they in turn wrote to Paddy Power “pointing out they had not given consent for images to be used and objected to the xenophobic nature of the campaign against the English”, Ms O’Mahony said.
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