Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 16, 2012 05:19 PM
You can’t stop it now. That Olympics train is running down the track and won’t be stopping till the final Royal Scone is eaten and the last big-hatted Guard struts by and the final Beatles song is sung during the Closing Ceremonies on Aug. 12. Don’t even think about getting out of the way, and that goes to marketers, too. We're watching how marketers of all sizes, official sponsors and non-sponsors, grapple with the hurdles of the London 2012 organizers' tough rules protecting sponsorships — starting with our lead story today:
Watch Out! The Brand Police Are Watching You
While there is some question on just how secure these Olympics will be, there is no doubt that this will be the most vigilant Olympics ever when it comes to fighting off any brands that are planning to use the Games as any kind of way of presenting their message if they haven’t shelled out the big bucks to allow them the right to do so.
The Independent reports that almost 300 “Olympics officers” hit the streets of the UK ("with a vengeance") on Monday, “enforcing sponsors' multimillion-pound marketing deals” and keeping a steely eye for ambush marketing. Such words as “gold,” “silver,” and, of course, “bronze” have been outlawed from any advertising. The newspaper comments, "Publicans have been advised that blackboards advertising live TV coverage must not refer to beer brands or brewers without an Olympics deal, while caterers and restaurateurs have been told not to advertise dishes that could be construed as having an association with the event."
Interbrand London's Lorna Fray, in her dispatch from London today, notes at least one non-sponsor whose signage around London might lead the casual observer to think it's an Olympics campaign: MasterCard, whose "Priceless London" outdoor marketing push "references heroes, unique experiences and London without mentioning sport or 2012" — much to the annoyance, no doubt, of official London 2012 credit card partner Visa.Continue reading...