‘Branding Police’ Will Patrol 2012 Olympics

Olympics---Team-GB-Kit-Un-007Are we headed for a future in which people are jailed for “branding crimes”? A special set of laws passed by British Parliament, at the behest of the International Olympic Committee, criminalizes “brand violations” related to sponsors of the London Olympics. It will be illegal for local businesses to publicly display words such as ‘twenty-twelve’, ‘medals’, and ‘London Games’. Athletes are banned from publicly mentioning companies or products that are not sponsors. Crack teams will patrol Olympic Village bathrooms, taping over manufacturers’ logos on soap dispensers and toilets. The Guardian writes:

With just a little more than three months to go until the opening of the London 2012 Games, attention is increasingly turning to what many legal experts consider to be the most stringent restrictions ever put in place to protect sponsors’ brands and broadcasting rights, affecting every athlete, Olympics ticket holder and business in the UK.

It is certainly very tough legislation,” says Paul Jordan, a marketing specialist at law firm Bristows, which is advising both official sponsors and non-sponsoring businesses on the new laws. “Every major brand in the world would give their eye teeth to have [a piece of legislation] like this. One can imagine something like a Google or a Microsoft would be delighted to have some very special recognition of their brand in the way that clearly the IOC has.”

The organizing committee has also put together a detailed social media and blogging policy for athletes, so that they don’t accidentally fall foul of regulations – by Tweeting about a brand that isn’t an Olympic sponsor, for example. Like all attendees at any Olympic venue, there is an absolute bar on athletes uploading snatches of video or audio, which would contravene lucrative broadcasters’ rights.

20 Comments on "‘Branding Police’ Will Patrol 2012 Olympics"

  1. Liam_McGonagle | Apr 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm |

    I bet the super power of the 2nd guy from the left is like super elasticity or something.  He could probably knock out a cow cold with a single punch delivered from 3 yards away and around a corner.

    The guy 2nd from right probably has some type of radiation/heat control power.  Looks like he’s readying himself to say “Flame On!” or some such.

    Not sure about the other two.

    • MadHierophant | Apr 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm |

      Invisibility and super-strength, what else could they possibly be?

      • Liam_McGonagle | Apr 30, 2012 at 5:38 pm |

        Well, at the risk of opening myself up to charges of political incorrectness:The one on the far left could be “Half Price Girl”, capable of fooling clerks and waitstaff at will that she qualifies for any applicable kids’ discounts, even though she’s like 28 years old.

        . . . and I admit I got nothing for the girl on the far right.  Maybe she’s ‘Anonyma’, with ther power of blending into crowds and deceiving the casual observer into believing she’s a nondescript citizen of average fair-to-pleasant features and personality.

  2. Is this fake reality seriously so ingrained to the top of our society? It’s really unsettling to accept that knowing it all is nonsense is still such a young idea…

    • “All that was once directly lived has become mere representation.”
      [Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle, 1967]

  3. Big Brother at it’s finest.  Wait till you see all the Private Security that are endowed with “police powers”….  It’s gonna be the most interesting Olympic games, ever!

  4. I wonder what the ancient Greeks would have made of ‘branding police’ and SAM on roof tops? Is it just me or does this all sound a little unlike the olympic spirit of old? 

    • Liam_McGonagle | Apr 30, 2012 at 8:14 pm |

      Yeah, it is very sordid.  Yet I’m not sure that the ancient Olympian ideal wasn’t without its own disappointing contradictions.

      Competitors were regularly maimed and killed in the course of the athletic events, and accounts of more than a few cheating scandals have survived into the modern era.

      The original organizing purposes were religious and to foster pan-Hellenism.  Yeah, the festivals were supported by conventions that bridged some political and social antagonisms, but they could also be used as platforms to express them.  I seem to recall some nasty stories about corrupt plutos using their influence to buy horse racing outcomes.

  5. Olympic branding, with these extreme police state tactics will branding backfire. Meet the companies that support police state tactics. Meet the companies whose greed will send local shopkeepers to jail. The Olympics of greed, which companies are the gold medal winners of greed. Olympic athlete greed, protected by the police state and corporate greed.

  6. So this is apparently unknown to the average person, but what is going on with this “branding police”
    thing is that companies pay a fee for their brand to be protected by the police usually border patrol as in
    watching for illegal copies of your product crossing borders etc. This is away for the police community to make an income.  In reality companies often have other companies try to steal their brand by copying their product and selling these fakes as an original, . I have never heard of them patrolling events and I don’t know if it is even worth their time, maybe this is a test case. Anything is possible.
    I hope this helps to understand that ultimately everything is about money ie making an income.

  7.  you either are happy to accept being molested from behind… or you dont go to the olympics.

    dont anyone buy a ticket and see how fast they change their minds.

    troouble is.. even though the solutions are simple.. so are too many of our citizens

  8. Is this a joke…? 

  9. i’d like to see what banksy could do to undermine such legislation… gotta dada…

  10. 1captainhooker1 | May 1, 2012 at 8:49 am |

    Interesting choice of photo….

  11. What I would like to know is what event does that wee person in the picture compete in?

  12. all that is left is for large corporations to hire private military corps and it’ll be just like the movies. or olympic throw a hammer at apple’s commercial so that 2012 isn’t like 1984 

  13. let me know when the olympics are over. I don’t watch TV or read newspapers…shove that on ya billboards and advertise it.

  14. Anarchy Pony | May 1, 2012 at 5:46 pm |

    When corporations rule the world…
    I mean own the world.

  15. its hard to keep your spirits up, heres what the olympics should be about

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