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Very valuable human billboards / Headphone maker Beats marketing rules at Olympics

by on August 1, 2012 in Lead story, Music, Retail News, Rock 'n Roll

Organizers of the 2012 London Olympics are peeved at Beats Electronics, makers of the headphones that are ubiquitous in major U.S. cities, according to The Guardian and other British publications.

Without the company ponying up the money to become an official sponsor of the games, Beats’ headphones still managed to find their way onto the ears of Olympic athletes, who during the games are some of the most watched people on the planet.

That makes them very valuable human billboards.

Officials from the International Olympic Committee are looking into whether anything can be done about the marketing ploy, according to reports coming out of London. The IOC has strict rules about appearing to endorse products that are not official sponsors. If they didn’t, who would bother to pay the sponsorship fees?

A Beats representative declined to comment.

The controversy started when some of the athletes from Great Britain started posting excited messages to Twitter about receiving a pair of custom-made Beats, complete with the Union Jack printed on them. Apparently, one of the athletes posted a message to Twitter saying that some of Beats’ so-called guerrilla marketers were “bumping” into athletes.

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