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Friday, 9 August, 2002, 11:04 GMT 12:04 UK
Vodafone sorry for streaker stunt
The Bledisloe Cup clash was marred by two streakers
Vodafone was heavily criticised for the stunt in Sydney
The New Zealand arm of mobile phone giant Vodafone has attempted to make amends for a publicity stunt during the Tri-Nations match between the All Blacks and Australia.

Vodafone NZ will donate NZ$100,000 (30,000) to a campaign to reduce sports injuries, and will also publish an apology in newspapers after its Australian counterpart's stunt backfired in Sydney last week.


Everyone here is very disappointed about what happened, and we want to apologise to the All Blacks
Tim Miles
Vodafone NZ

The Australian arm, which sponsors the Wallabies, admitted it had encouraged plans for a public relations stunt ahead of last Saturday's Bledisloe Cup match in Sydney.

Grahame Maher, the chief executive, received a phone call from someone planning something at the game and he agreed to pay any fines in return for some publicity.

Two men wearing nothing but the phone company's logo painted on their bodies ran onto the field just as Andrew Mehrtens was preparing to take an important penalty kick.

The All Blacks' fly-half missed the kick and Australia went on to win 16-14.

Vodafone NZ managing director Tim Miles said the company accepted the prank had caused offence.

"Everyone here is very disappointed about what happened, and we want to apologise to the All Blacks, rugby fans, our customers and all of New Zealand," he said in a statement.

"It was an inappropriate prank and if Vodafone New Zealand had known about it we would have put a stop to it."

Maher said he did not know the two men would do anything illegal.

Police are still considering whether any action should be taken against Vodafone.


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