A strip club has received a slap on the wrist for an ambush marketing stunt during Saturday's epic Cricket World Cup clash in Auckland.
Calendar Girls advertised its wares by flying a plane towing a banner over Eden Park packed with 40,053 enraptured fans during Saturday's Black Caps vs Australia pool match.
The stunt broke the Major Events Management (Cricket World Cup 2015) Order put in place ahead of the tournament co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia.
Being declared a major event affords the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 certain protections, including the establishment of advertisement-free "clean zones" to protect against ambush marketing attempts.
Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) officials were made aware of the strip club's gimmick and investigated.
A MBIE spokesman today confirmed that Calendar Girls was found in breach of the Major Events Management Act and that the firm had been issued with a formal warning letter.
Failure to comply with a formal warning can result in prosecution and a fine of up to $150,000.
Calendar Girls, which has establishments in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, today pointed the finger at a company which approached the strip bar operator with a banner from its advertising plane.
"We were unaware of the breach and would expect the company that organised the plane to have the appropriate permits to do so," a Calendar Girls spokesman said.
The gentleman's club spokesman refused to say if the stunt prompted a spike in business after the nail-biting Black Caps victory.
"Calendar Girls venues are second to none and attract only the most desirable girls, which in turn allures only the best customers. We are not in the habit of saying who attends the clubs."
During the match, two planes flew around Eden Park, though not directly over the ground, according to Auckland police inspector Peter Gibson.
One of the planes advertised Calendar Girls and one contained birthday greetings.
Neither plane was in breach of any law, Mr Gibson said, but referred further queries to MBIE.
The International Cricket Council (ICC), New Zealand Police, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development Limited (ATEED) this morning all referred enquiries to MBIE.
A Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spokesman said there had been no restricted airspace over Eden Park at the weekend, and it had not received any complaints.
Family First NZ spokesman Bob McCoskrie believes all public billboards and advertising should be G-rated because they capture a wide audience.
"Cricket games are full of families and so advertising should be appropriate," he said.
Ambush marketing also marred the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
The Mermaid strip club in Wellington hired strippers scantily-clad in All Blacks regalia to hand out flyers at Westpac Stadium and Wellington railway station.
Both locations were deemed "clean zones" for the tournament and the ministry warned that the strip club faced $150,000 fines for breaches of the Major Events Management Act.
Helicopter operators Helipro were also spoken to by ministry officials after it flew over Westpac Stadium during a match and took aerial photos.