London 2012

5 November 2008 – 10:43 am

Olympics - September 2008

Coming recently from a breakfast at the IPA, Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, I was interested to hear some sly marketing people looking to infringe the good sponsors of the London 2012 Olympics.

With marketing packages reputedly in the millions of pounds, it is easy to see why even big brands are looking for a coat tail ride, circumventing the status of Official Sponsor.

LOCOG, who are looking after the legal aspects of the event, are not having any of it. Even touting the, ha, ha, unofficial sponsor line, will land marketers in hot water.

Legislation is now so strict, that anything one does to tap in to the public psyche can be deemed in contravention of the new rules.

Faster, quicker, better and such words, are all that are needed in advertisements around the time of the games, to hear from the legal team at LOCOG.

My stance is, this hard line action needs to be communicated well, otherwise London 2012 are going to look like total meanies. Preventing little local organisations from sharing in the Olympic fun. This is tabloid heaven.

The reality is, without such legislation, self policing by marketers just does not work. I know, as I have seen many unofficial people look to profit from high profile projects we have been involved with.

What do you think? Are LOCOG meanies? Or, are these the steps which must be taken to prevent Olympic brand exploitation by major brands? Who incidentally can usually afford the Olympic ratecard.

BT, above in the photograph, is of course an Official Sponsor. It would have to be, or LOCOG would not tolerate its City building being dressed in a branded wrap!

However, even for me, confusion now sets in. Is BT a bid, or, actual games sponsor? What are they sponsoring? So the athletes all use BT phones? Confusing isn’t it.

This confusion was not helped by the bid team, who it appears were happy for all the support possible when pitching (sic) for the games, but are now are keen to micro-manage even the smallest of enterprises.

Finally, after reading the official marketing booklet issued by LOCOG, which is actually quite humorous. I would advise that encouraging such action as the playing of the National Lottery to support the games, is far from good public relations.

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