Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 18, 2012 06:32 PM
This will be the most broadcasted, most publicized, most branded, and most ballyhooed Olympics ever. Just when you don’t think stakes can go higher, they somehow suddenly do.
Athletes Must Now Stop Promoting Themselves
Wednesday marks the day when all self-promotion by Olympic athletes has been ordered to stop. No more gear sold with their names on it. No more ads featuring their faces to run — unless of course it is for a brand that has paid out the big bucks to officially align itself with the Games. The moratorium will last till Aug. 15, three days after the end of the Games. As NPR points out, "To understand what this means, consider Michael Phelps: Subway has long sponsored the Olympic swimmer, but it's not an Olympic sponsor. That means no Subway ads featuring Phelps can air between July 18 and Aug. 15. But this Head & Shoulders commercial of Phelps washing his hair is fine — Head & Shoulders is owned by Procter & Gamble, which is an Olympic sponsor." Blame the IOC and London 2012 organizing committee's drive to protect official sponsors from non-sponsors piggybacking on their efforts. “Ambush marketing seems to be an issue that continues to rear its head in every Games,” said Lisa Baird, the USOC’s chief marketing officer, according to the Washington Post. “There are ambush marketers out there that want to imply an association with the Olympics. They’ll take terminology; imagery, and they will get very close or crossing the line to really imply that they are a sponsor. That hurts us.” That hurts all of us, Lisa.Continue reading...