The Great Olympic Sponsor Farce

This summer (next week) the Olympic Games will officially start in the UK, the world’s media will descend on this country like a moth to a flame, in-fact that’s nearly 100% accurate, as millions of people are flocking to see flaming torches.

What perhaps you won’t realise is there has been a new law passed specifically for the games, it is a law which will see almost 300 law enforcement officers across the country checking firms to ensure they are not “ambush marketing” or illegally associating themselves with the games at the expense of official sponsors such as Adidas, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and BP.

It seems however the governing bodies are more bothered about the big sponsors than the everyday man, under the legislation specially introduced for the Olympic Games, they have the right to enter shops and offices and bring court action with fines of up to £20,000.

This country is hosting the BIGGEST cultural gaming event in the history of the world and we should be celebrating this. Businesses around the country should be benefiting from this, we are in a recession, the economy is in pieces, surely this is an ideal opportunity get money back into business?

Just to show how completely insane this whole thing is, here are some examples:

Businesses should not include a list of banned words, including “gold”, “silver”, “bronze”, “summer”, “sponsors” and “London”, you cannot give an impression of a formal connection to the Olympics.

This is not restricted to just advertising, it could simply be selling a cake in your shop called the Olympic cake, the Gold Winners Cake.

40 Olympic venues, 800 retailers have been banned from serving chips to avoid infringing fast-food rights secured by McDonald’s.

The ODA and LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) are responsible for this law and quite frankly are more worried about being sued by McDonalds than this country’s rights to freedom of speech.

We have begun work on an Olympic themed project but we are having to follow LOCOG’s ‘Rule 40’ which prohibits competing athletes from ‘appearing in advertising during and shortly before the Olympic Games’.

Again another nonsensical rule, an athlete who may be sponsored by a company, probably with a contract in place, will get over ruled by this law, so during the Olympics there will be a media blackout, from 18th July until the 15th August, which is designed to protect sponsors.

Subway has said it will be ‘taking down’ its current campaign featuring pole-vaulter Holly Bleasdale and boxer Anthony Ogogo. Sky is also running a campaign involving champion cyclist Chris Hoy this will also be removed.

In this case it is the athletes, not the brands, who will be possibly be punished if they ignore the blackout.

So overall it means we as nation have been punished by Big Corporate Money Deals, and that is the price necessary to ensure the degree of exclusivity that will attract the high price tags for official sponsorship packages.

On a final note, it is quite ironic that McDonald’s and Coca Cola are 2 of the main sponsors of the Olympics, considering this event is for the world’s elite athletes to compete in which health and fitness should be preached, then in the next breathe we are telling the world to go eat fast food and drink fizzy drinks…

…you make your own conclusions.