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Tuesday 23 December  
Dutch dress "babes"
Iain Macintyre's picture
Johannesburg, South Africa
Johannesburg, South Africa

Bavaria backs Dutch "beer babes" in advert row

Published on : 16 June 2010 - 11:34am | By Iain Macintyre (Photo: ANP)
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Dutch brewery Bavaria is providing legal assistance to two Dutch “beer dress babes” who were arrested at their hotel in Johannesburg over a sponsorship row. The company says it supports the women, who appeared in court on Wednesday over allegations of organising a marketing stunt.


The pair were among 36 women who were removed from the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg during the Holland-Denmark World Cup match on Monday. The group arrived at the match dressed as Danish supporters, but soon stripped off their red and white gear to reveal orange mini-dresses marketed by the Dutch brewery Bavaria.

When their outfits were noticed by FIFA representatives, the “babes” were held for the duration of the match. Three Dutch women in the group were subsequently taken for questioning for two hours. One of them, Barbara Castelein, says they were put under considerable pressure by the South African authorities, treated roughly and threatened with six-month prison sentences.

Ms Castelein and another Dutch woman were arrested on Tuesday because of indications their flights to South Africa were paid for by a third party. They were bailed for a reported 10,000 rand - around 1,000 euros each - but both women's passports have been confiscated.

Official beer

The international football association FIFA has lodged a criminal complaint against Bavaria, accusing the Dutch company of an “ambush marketing” stunt – the term used for the exploitation of a sponsored event by a non-sponsor. FIFA is obliged to protect the official sponsor of the World Cup, US brewer Budweiser.

Bavaria has issued a statement in response to the accusations, saying: "There is no way FIFA can hold these ladies responsible for their attendance at the match in their Dutch Dress in Soccer City and Bavaria is currently doing everything in their power to assist the arrested Dutch ladies.

"Bavaria’s intention with the Dutch Dresses has always been to generate pleasure and enthusiasm amongst the football fans. This was very well understood and appreciated by the international audience in and around the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg. The Dutch Dresses don’t have a big brand name logo."

The dress has become very popular in the Netherlands and caused a minor “beer war” even before the start of the World Cup. Sylvia van der Vaart, wife of Dutch soccer star Rafael, played a prominent role in the Bavaria campaign – rather embarrassingly for rival Dutch brewer Heineken, the sponsor of the Dutch national team.

The World Cup's official beer sponser, Budweiser, has attempted to distance itself from the latest row. In a statement, its parent company AB InBev said it had only become aware of the incident through the media, adding: "We are focussing on Budweiser's promotional campaigns within the framework of official beer sponsorship, both within and beyond the point of sale, which is how we reach our customers and football fans."

TV Tickets

Meanwhile former international footballer Robbie Earle, one of the World Cup pundits for British commercial television channel ITV, has been sacked "with immediate effect" for breaching FIFA rules by passing dozens of tickets to third parties. The tickets were allocated to Earle for his family and friends. Between 35 and 40 of them are believed to have gone to the marketing company used by Bavaria.

Robbie Earle said: “I have absolutely no connection with any marketing ambush agency and have not profited in any way from these tickets. Call me naïve, but I didn't think I was doing anything wrong.”

If he is found guilty of breaking FIFA’s rules he will also be dropped as one of England’s official ambassadors in its bid for the 2018 World Cup.



alanposting 13 July 2010 - 11:59am

Oh good, and this from a country with a president who has, lord knows, how many wifes and has sex (without condoms) with 15 year olds....a great country to teach us about morals. ..and btw, I would love to check the inflows into the bank accounts of all FIFA officials.

droppert 25 June 2010 - 5:52am / canada

i never heard of bavaria before but now i will try it for sure!

Red White and Blue 24 June 2010 - 12:30am / UK

Well now everyone knows why I have a Dutch girlfriend and hate "big football". The only thing good to come out of this from SA's point of view is that it highlights the level of corruption that must exist to allow such bizarre laws. Even when they do exist there is obviously a seriously poor level of intelligence in the SA police force to carry out such an arrest - I guess the officers that did it must have been kinky "liking girls in handcuffs" but you'd think their superiors would have stepped in. So that's SA off my holiday list - I don't fancy going to a country where I might get arrested for wearing the wrong coloured shirt! To think I used to go on marches to protest against apartheid - it just goes to show that money talks and FIFA/Budweiser obviously crammed money down someones throat - thank heaven's it backfired on them - not that I'd drink the bud p**s water anyway.

Anonymous 22 June 2010 - 5:59pm / USA

What is the problem, they are completly covered beatiful and in good taste

Anonymous 22 June 2010 - 2:14pm

The most hypocritical country in the world - highest murder rate in the world, rape etc. a common occurence, +/- 3500 PLAASMOORDE, and they victimise two blonde females, threaten to imprison them.

Hope this has shown the world what an utter bunch of HYPOCRITES the ANC is.

Mthoko 18 June 2010 - 10:12pm / South Africa

Bare Thighs, Blonde Babes and Bavaria Beer- A Big Headache for Blatter's Boys

Nicholas 17 June 2010 - 7:40pm / England

Where can I buy one of these for my missus?!

Clint 17 June 2010 - 1:10pm

So what happens when the women *do* receive six month jail sentences? Will Bavaria say 'oh this has gone too far'? How much 'free publicity' is enough? Let's face it, if it's true that the women involved had their airline tickets paid for by Bavaria, and have now been bailed out by them, they really only have themselves to blame. Oh but it's all about criticising FIFA and their stupid advertising rules, right? Yeah, whatever. And good for you, anonymous @1, that's really going to make a shred of difference.

Anonymous 17 June 2010 - 1:20pm

It won't make much difference if I buy a couple of cases of Bavaria beer. But do you seriously think I'm the only one who's going to be doing that now that FIFA have turned this into a major international news story?

I don't have anything in particular against FIFA, but this is all incredibly funny, and I enjoy a good laugh. Perhaps you should try it sometime.

Clint 17 June 2010 - 2:53pm

Do you really think this episode will make people buy more Bavaria? That really is funny.

Anonymous 17 June 2010 - 3:23pm

No, you're right. I'm probably the only person in the whole world to think this reflects well on Bavaria, because I have a particularly warped sense of humour. I'm sure everyone else will be disgusted at them for pulling such an underhand prank against such a poor defenceless organisation like FIFA and will boycott their beer. Even the millions of people who had never heard of their beer yesterday.

See, for example, here.

Clint 17 June 2010 - 3:50pm

Tell me, do you work for Bavaria too? I just read that comment section actually, and agree with @43. I just find it weird that people are now going 'aw, I think I'll get me some Bavaria!', as if they're not also just a company. Enjoy your beer, but you've been fooled and you don't even know it.

Clint 17 June 2010 - 3:47pm

Tell me, do you work for Bavaria too? I just read that comment section actually, and agree with @43. I just find it weird that people are now going 'aw, I think I'll get me some Bavaria!', as if they're not also just a company. Enjoy your beer, but you've been fooled and you don't even know it.

Anonymous 17 June 2010 - 4:58pm

Don't worry, I know it was a marketing ploy by Bavaria. I just happen to think it was such a clever and funny one that it deserves some results. And I happen to like beer anyway, so it's not exactly a hardship.

And no, I don't work for Bavaria. Never even heard of them until today. So which do you work for, FIFA or Budweiser?

BTW, I heard you the first time.

Clint 18 June 2010 - 11:22am

LOL! Yes, I was just so eager to continue our friendly banter that I double clicked when a single click would have been enough. So neither of us work for any of these evil corporations. That's fine by me. Enjoy your beer, whatever variety! I prefer jenever actually.

Anonymous 17 June 2010 - 12:58pm

I'm not sure whether Bavaria have been very clever or FIFA have been incredibly stupid. By throwing the beer babes out of the stadium, they have turned this into an international news story and generated far more publicity than Bavaria could ever have dreamed of (unless of course, they planned it that way all along, which maybe they did).

Either way, I'm going to buy myself a couple of cases of Bavaria beer this weekend. I think they should be rewarded for providing the rest of us with such high-class amusement.

Anonymous 17 June 2010 - 9:13am / Iran

dear sirs,

leave me alone they are wanted became mooo sssss llll mmm

Cal 17 June 2010 - 2:23am

I'm moving to Denmark. Those women are hawt!

Anonymous 18 June 2010 - 2:00pm

You do that I'll move to holland!

Anonymous 23 June 2010 - 9:49am

I live in Holland but I'm moving to Denmark. The Danish women are much sexier (and naughtier)

Roy 17 June 2010 - 1:18am / USA

Shame on you FIFA and Budweiser : take a Blond in prison because of mini-dress is against the natural law.

Dónal 16 June 2010 - 10:33pm / Sweden

Wow, FIFA know how to do marketing. 36 dresses in a stadium of thousands, that would have caught the headlines... Luckily for Bavaria FIFA stepped in and made it a global headline. Now everyone is talking about it and there is bucket loads of free publicity.

Anonymous 16 June 2010 - 10:27pm / Europe

Good to see the stealth marketing undermining the the FIFA cartel. These morons think they own all aspects of the world cup. In countries having a decent judicial system in place, arrests like this would be unthinkable. But who rules in RSA? Obviously teh FIFA runs the country for 4 weeks in their favour. The good news for Bavaria is: It worked due to FIFA reaction.

Lauren Begley 16 June 2010 - 9:30pm / USA

A smarter marketing move would be to turn to online marketing around the World Cup rather than stage a stunt like this. Budweiser is doing a great job with their Bud United campaign on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter:

Anonymous 16 June 2010 - 11:00pm / USA

Your lightly veiled attempt at redirection marketing makes me dislike Budwiser even more. After all, they aren't even an American owned company anymore due to the "sellouts" aka Busch family. Good for you Bavaria Bier! You owe FIFA a huge thank you for viralizing this otherwise innocuous event.

David Berridge 16 June 2010 - 7:03pm / Canada

See, threats of sanctions do work!!

Anonymous 16 June 2010 - 3:13pm / USA

Ridiculous! I see no product name/label on the dresses! Next they will be throwing out USA and France fans with flags because Pepsi uses red, white, and blue colors too!

Erik de W. 18 June 2010 - 2:01pm / Netherlands

Hyundia don't want keisuke honda to play anymore either

David Berridge 16 June 2010 - 2:22pm / Canada

RNW should immediately begin a campaign to sanction the import of South African wine into the Netherlands, and place an extra royalty fee upon FIFA for its use of the new Dutch designed footballs,until the Dutch dress babes are freed to do their thing at the Cup matches!! Never mind BP, FIFA should be made to know what real commercial trouble is!!

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