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Volume 7 No. 149
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Parmigiani Says FIFA Scandal Over Free Watches Has Provided Valuable Publicity

Luxury Swiss watchmaker Parmigiani said that it has become the "unintentional beneficiary of the latest scandal" to affect FIFA, according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG. FIFA ordered officials to return a 25,000 Swiss franc ($26,400) model made by Parmigiani that was "distributed to them" before the World Cup. The incident "may have given Switzerland-based Parmigiani the biggest free publicity push since the company was established" in '76. Parmigiani Brand Manager Emilie Jacquot said, "It is unanimously positive." Jacquot added that an association to "the FIFA scandal had an excellent impact on our brand awareness" and said that visitor numbers to its website “boomed and remain higher than before." Jacquot: "The CBF collection is even more appreciated than before -- or at least we seem to receive a lot of queries about it that confirm this." Patrick Nally, who brokered Coca-Cola's first agreement with FIFA in the '70s, said the value of the incident to Parmigiani "would have been enormous." Nally: "I don’t think anyone of us would’ve heard of them if this story had not broken. They must be laughing -- I doubt they need many sales because the watch is so expensive" (BLOOMBERG, 10/15).