Between the Lines: Protect the Olympic pound

The Government's aim to clamp down on ambush marketers at the 2012 Olympics (page 1) says more about its concerns over the funding of the games than it does its stance on advertising around them.

If passed, the London Olympics Bill will prohibit non-sponsors from using terms including "gold", "summer" and "2012" in ads that "seek to create an unauthorised association" with the summer Olympics. Should they end up in court, the evidential burden will fall on advertisers to prove they are not attempting to piggy-back on the event.

International Olympic Committee-recognised commercial partners are central to the success of the Olympics and their investments, which account for up to 35 per cent of the games' funding, need to be protected against those who seek to cash in on the London games.

But in drafting regulations which exceed the IOC requirements, the Government only serves to demonstrate that it is more afraid of upsetting its sponsors than it is of the potential damage ambush marketing can cause.

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