Image: John Myers Image: John Myers

You may have noticed that Euro 2016 is just around the corner. But unlike most major football tournaments in recent memory, where England is the only UK representative, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Wales are all joining the party.

Now you might think that marketing yourself around a major football tournament is quite easy. Show some fans enjoying your product while watching the football; an alcoholic drink, a brand-spanking new TV, betting apps, and maybe a takeaway are probably the most common.

But it seems that some brands have been finding it harder than others. They're marketing their product in line with the Euros, but they've managed to annoy a lot of people. A lot of Welsh people.


It all started with Mars. Mars' '#Believe' campaign sees England stars Harry Kane, Danny Welbeck and Jamie Vardy lead a charge from the sea to a (French) beach, followed by knights atop horses, Buckingham Palace guards, dinnerladies, corgis and plenty of flags bearing the cross of St. George.

Welsh fans started to get annoyed that Mars was throwing all of its support behind England. But Mars is an official sponsor of the English Football Association (FA), and so, in my opinion, did absolutely nothing wrong.

They did, however, when they reacted to the criticism claiming the campaign encourages all of the home nations to '#believe' in their team.

Mars, and other companies, probably over stepped the mark when they decided to advertise their support of England in Wales, creating some very bad PR.

You'd be quite likely to find a England/#Believe branded box in convenience stores across Wales. And it doesn't look like Mars is going to remove them because they 'want all fans to #Believe' in their team'.

JD Sports

JD Sports also found itself in hot water, showing its support for England by advertising the team's kit outside its store in Cardiff Bay. That is despite JD Sports having an exclusive deal with the Football Association of Wales (FAW) to sell its kit.

Image: Rhydian Bowen Phillips Image: Rhydian Bowen Phillips

JD reacted quickly, however, taking down the posters swiftly.

Marks & Spencer

A few days later, Marks & Spencer was the latest company to boil the blood of the Wales fans. Marks & Spencer is the 'Official Suit Supplier' for England, so again, supporting England is not a problem. But it also paraded images of the England's Joe Hart, Chris Smalling and Kyle Walker in its stores.

Image: Rhydian Bowen Phillips Image: Rhydian Bowen Phillips

When Rhydian Bowen Phillips complained to the Marks & Spencer Twitter account, he was told his feedback would be passed onto the store in question. But there is no word on the rest of the Wales.

Getting it right

In the most part, Welsh fans aren't displeased with these brands having sponsorship deals with the FA, it's simply a case of the advertising carelessly being placed in Wales.

Lets not forget, the rivalry between the two countries is even hotter at Euro 2016 with them facing off in the same group.

German budget supermarket Lidl has placed this advert, featuring Wales stars Gareth Bale, Aaron Ramsey and Ashley Williams, along with the 'Together Stronger' slogan, in Swansea.

Image: John Myers Image: John Myers

There's nothing wrong with supporting a team in your marketing around major football tournaments, especially if there is an official affiliation with it. But, for the public's perception of your brand, it's not the best idea to place physical elements in a rival nation, also competing in the tournament in the same group.