Pocket-Lint has today received word that EE are demanding Vodafone to garage their McLaren racecars and their team during the British Grand Prix this weekend due to some advertisements for Vodefone’s 4G service.
Reportedly the 4G operator has complained that by doing this, Vodafone are falsely advertising its yet to be launched 4G service, which isn’t expected to be available till later this summer.
Vodafone say that EE’s chief of brand and communications contacted the company on Friday night, demanding that they garage both Jenson Button’s and Sergio ‘Checo’ Perez’s racing cars and remove the “ultrafast 4G” advertisements Vodafone placed on them.
A spokesman for the company told Pocket-Lint the following:
“This is sponsorship, not advertising. The clue is in the team’s name: Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. We’re using the car to build further awareness of our forthcoming ultrafast 4G service.”
“It’s a ‘static promotion’, albeit on a car that can travel at over 200 mph. Consumers know Vodafone’s ultrafast 4G is coming. We’ve said very publicly it will be here by the late summer. Even if someone seeing the car wasn’t aware of that, there is no ‘call to action’ on it.”
EE’s spokesperson had the following to say about the statement:
“Far from demanding Jenson get garaged, we’re right behind him for tomorrow’s race. We simply asked why advertise a product that you don’t have? When it comes to 4G mobile networks, Vodafone UK isn’t even on the grid.”
Of course both will back their own corners, and we are still yet to see what will come out of this in the future.