The previously discussed purple-uniformed brand police have hit the streets, and will fine or jail those who violate the specially-legislated “rights” of companies which are official Olympic sponsors. The Independent writes:
Hundreds of uniformed Olympics officers will begin touring the country today enforcing sponsors’ multimillion-pound marketing deals. Wearing purple caps and tops… checking firms to ensure they are not staging “ambush marketing” or illegally associating themselves with the Games at the expense of official sponsors such as Adidas, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and BP.
[Drinking establishments] have been advised that blackboards advertising live TV coverage must not refer to beer brands or brewers without an Olympics deal, while caterers and restaurateurs have been told not to advertise dishes that could be construed as having an association with the event. At the 40 Olympics venues, 800 retailers have been banned from serving chips to avoid infringing fast-food rights secured by McDonald’s.
Marina Palomba, for the McCann Worldgroup agency in London, described the rules as “the most draconian law in advance of an Olympic Games ever”. The Olympic Delivery Authority and Locog (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games) say the rules are necessary to protect brands.
“These rights are acquired by companies who invest millions of pounds to help support the staging of the Games,” Locog said. “People who seek the same benefits for free – by engaging in ambush marketing or producing counterfeit goods – are effectively depriving the Games of revenue.”