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Junior minister recants, now says Digicel’s Champs ploy unfair

Published:Monday | March 30, 2015 | 7:14 PMJerome Reynolds, Staff Reporter
Digicel's action is unfair to the legitimate sponsors who have spent millions

The junior minister for technology, Julian Robinson, has withdrawn his earlier commendation for Digicel's marketing ploy at the ISSA/GraceKennedy Boys and Girls’ Athletics Championships saying his first reaction was "spontaneous".

On Saturday night, after winning the Class One 200m final, Calabar’s Michael Ohara removed his team gear to display a red and green jersey with the words "be extraordinary" – Digicel’s tagline.

Digicel later announced on its Instagram page that it has signed a deal with the schoolboy to become a brand ambassador.

Digicel was not a part of Champs; however, its main competitor, LIME was a major sponsor.

In reacting to the move using his Twitter page, the junior technology minister commended Digicel for what he called a "great marketing ploy".

However, Robinson later recanted calling his tweet "spontaneous".

In the recant, he agreed with comments that Digicel engaged in ambush marketing.

"Digicel's action is unfair to the legitimate sponsors who have spent millions to have an exclusive right to market their products and or services at Champs," Robinson posted in a statement on his Twitter and Facebook accounts.

Robinson further said Digicel’s action may create a dangerous precedent where competitors retaliate against each other by employing this type of strategy at future events.

He says while Digicel's sponsorship of Ohara is a good thing, doing it at a LIME-sponsored event crossed the line.