As London welcomes the Olympic Games, a slew of brands who aren’t official sponsors of the event have attempted to crash the party with guerrilla marketing.
However, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) is working fiercely to protect the rights of official sponsors including P&G, McDonald’s and Coca-Cola who have spent small fortunes to help foot the bill for the Games, estimated to have cost around $14.4bn.
Adidas, for example, is reported to have paid around $62m to become an official sponsor.
Ayo Akintola, managing director at Oddbins, said that the campaign was to ‘highlight the absurdity of the fact that the British people – who are paying for these games – are at the same time being subject to ridiculous rules’. Akintola also accused LOCOG of mistreating non-sponsors saying: ‘Any business without the tens of millions of pounds required to join the cabal of multinational brand partners for the Games are reduced to the status of beggars on the gilded streets of the Olympic movement.’
LOCOG has implemented strict regulations about what language advertisers are allowed to use this summer, reprimanding those who use the words:
‘Games’, ‘two thousand and twelve’, ‘2012’ and ‘twenty-twelve’. Marketers who use those words in conjunction with ‘London,’ ‘medals,’ ‘sponsors,’ ‘summer,’ ‘gold,’ ‘silver’ and ‘bronze’ will be even more severely punished. LOCOG, with the British government, has criminalised major ambush marketing efforts and is punishing lesser offenses with fines of $30,000.