RWC ‘clean zones’ finally established

After a fair bit bureaucratic faffing, the clean zones for the Rugby World Cup 2011 have been announced, so agencies and advertisers now know where they can and can’t put their marketing during the tournament. And in some cases, the restrictions are quite extensive.

Clean zones, routes and periods, which you can check out here, are in essence a blackout of marketing and advertising when it comes to the RWC2011 and its official sponsors. Of course, day to day businesses can of course continue their advertising and marketing activities. But as RWC2011 comms manager Mike Jaspers hypothetically exemplifies, dairies can’t exactly be promoting Steinlager all day every day in an over the top manner. When it comes to beer, the clean zones are Heineken’s turf and that of the other official sponsors.

Jaspers says the zones are there to provide the official sponsors their money’s worth of marketing. They are the ones who have been pouring the big money into it, so they get the privileges and anyone caught in the ambush marketing act will be made an example of.

The upside is that if you’re inside the zones, you can try your best to milk the throngs (well, if you can afford the council fees to open later on game day).

Here’s what AJ Park’s Dan Winfield and Corinne Blumsky said about it:

The zones and routes announced vary in size. The Eden Park clean zone and route in Auckland is extensive and the clean periods for these areas is longer than elsewhere. In contrast, the clean zone and route for Auckland’s North Shore is small and the clean periods are short.

In some cases, the clean zone is largely limited to the stadium and surrounding park land but the clean route is significant. For example, the Wellington clean route runs from the stadium, through the centre of town, all the way to the airport.

As a general rule, the clean periods are limited to the day before match day and match day. The major exception is the fifth clean period for the Eden Park clean zone and route, which is in place from 8am 5 October until 11.59pm 24 October (the quarter finals until the final).

All advertising in the zones and routes is not prohibited. If you are advertising in accordance with your ordinary honest activities the restrictions are unlikely to apply to you. But if you are thinking of doing something different you may want to seek legal advice.


  • The clean zone restrictions apply to advertising in the clean zone and advertising that can be seen from within the clean zone (if it’s not part of a business’s usual signage).
  • The clean route restrictions apply to advertising in the route only (not advertising outside the route that can be seen from within the route).
  • Honest ordinary advertising in the zones and route is unlikely to be restricted.


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