The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has launched its new Olympic Agenda paper. The CIM produces an agenda paper once every six months, with the focus of the paper being targeted towards the major topics of marketing professionals. The Olympics Agenda Paper has raised concerns that the legal restrictions put in place by UK Government have been seemingly in hand with business corporations. Therefore, smaller businesses may fail to generate the extra revenue that is expected from the 2012 Olympics.
The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 (under schedule 4) confers exclusive rights to the use of terms such as: games, 2012, gold, silver, bronze, London, medals, sponsor and summer. Therefore, the Olympic Act 2006 bans the use of specific combinations of these terms unless they are an official sponsor of the games. The purpose of the legislation is to protect the official sponsors from airbrush marketing. However the CIM have responded to this: “If the 2006 Act has been designed to defeat ambush marketing, it has been executed in a heavy-handed, blanket way”. Thus, there are clear concerns that the law will punish the smaller UK businesses, who should also benefit from the new income streams the 2012 games will bring.
Oliver Bray, partner of the law firm Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, said: “…it’s hard to see how the draconian nature of the rules leave room for any form of engagement by normal businesses without breaking the law. Given the all-consuming nature of an Olympic event, there is a danger that businesses will feel alienated, rather than involved”
Do you agree that the law should protect the official sponsors in this way? Is the sponsors intellectual property rights not already enough to protect them?