London Olympics Ready to Battle Ambush Ads

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At the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, 36 women were ejected from a game (and two arrested) simply for wearing orange dresses, it seemed. A little extreme? Not when the women were practicing a little ambush marketing, showing the colors of beer maker Bavaria, a direct competitor to World Cup sponsor Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Budweiser.

Corporations have a long history of gaining a little attention for themselves at such massive events even if they aren’t the official sponsor. After all, such sponsorships can cost a lot of dough. For example, Cadbury spent £20 million ($32.45 million) to be a Tier Two sponsor, according to The Independent

So how do the 2012 Summer Olympics organizers plan on stopping 100 people from showing up at an event dressed with Hershey’s Kiss hats?[more]

Marketing magazine in the UK reports that the organizing committee, LOCOG, “is to launch a major campaign to inform brands how it will clamp down on ambush marketing in the build-up to the Olympic Games.”

The push will begin in September and “is likely to run across print, online, direct and outdoor,” Marketing notes. The British government will soon enact laws against ambush marketing and the main goal of the campaign, Marketing adds, “will be educating stakeholders and the wider business community” about these changes.

This news follows last week’s shout-out from the head of worldwide sports marketing at Samsung, Gyehyun Kwon, to Olympic organizers to be sure and protect sponsors from ambush marketing as reported by the Financial Times.

Samsung is “spending more than $100m in marketing to underpin its Olympics sponsorship, with around two-thirds of that amount being ploughed into the UK,” the Financial Times reports — a 20% increase over what it spent at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

In other Olympics news, 12 British artists have been selected to design posters for the 2012 Games, a typical way of a country showcasing its talent while making extra cash from a brand extension.

Creative Review notes that designers are somewhat irked, even though it’s an Olympics tradition that dates back to the 29 artists who “were commissioned to produce posters for the 1972 Munich Olympic Games.” Those poster sales brought in 2 million Deutsche Marks ($1.5 million).

Every little bit helps!

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