The Week: 2012 Olympics pitch descends into £10m pay-out chaos

The pitch for the 2012 Olympics advertising account has been plunged into controversy after it emerged that the winning agency would be expected to sign up as a sponsor of the Games, at a cost of almost £10 million.

Two agency groups have already said they will withdraw from the pitch unless the sponsorship stipulation is removed, according to reports. The payment is expected to be "in kind" including, particularly, time, rather than an upfront fee.

But some agencies are adamant that the price is crippling and unlikely to be justified by the exposure an agency would get from being an official sponsor.

Agencies have also suggested that the approach is unlikely to ensure the Games receive the best possible marketing support. Other Olympics sponsors that have made "value in kind" deals include the chewing-gum brand Trident and the technology group Airwave.

The advertising pitch is scheduled for mid-April.


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