Despite tight restrictions on who can associate themselves with the London 2012 Summer Olympic Games, some companies have risked the wrath of the organisers and run ambush marketing advertising campaigns.
When it was announced that London would host the 2012 Games, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) was set up and given powers to prevent any unauthorised association with the Games. It has been reported that up to 250 “brand police” are on patrol during the Games in order to assist with this.
Paddy Power, no stranger to ambush marketing (see our previous articles here and here) and not an official sponsor of the London Olympics, launched a billboard campaign in London declaring itself to be the “official sponsor of the largest athletics event in London this year”. In smaller writing beneath this strapline it clarified that it was referring to “London, France” where it had sponsored an egg and spoon race. LOCOG ordered that the advertisements be removed, but climbed down from this position when Paddy Power threatened to seek a High Court order preventing their removal. LOCOG subsequently stated that it would continue to monitor the situation.
Nike, again not an official sponsor of the 2012 Games, also chose a marketing campaign associating itself with numerous “Londons” around the world other than the English capital. Its television campaign depicted a wide variety of people training and playing sport in places such as London Avenue, London Gym and London, Canada. LOCOG has not to date taken any action against Nike.
When it comes to ambush marketing it would appear that some companies, with more than a few fights under their belts, know how to box clever and ultimately take gold.
Contributed by Brian McElligott.