Small firms watch wording in Olympic ads
The Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has warned small firms to be careful which words they use in any advertising campaigns linked to the 2012 Olympic Games, as they risk fines of up to £20,000 for using words associated with the event.
The CIM has published a report, Shape the Agenda — the event that dare not speak its name, aiming to raise awareness of the 2006 London Olympic Games and Paralympics Games Act, and warning that words including ‘Game’, ‘Gold’, ‘2012’ and ‘Summer’ cannot be used in certain combinations for marketing purposes.
The legislation aims to protect the interests of business sponsors that are paying to be associated with the Games, but the CIM claims this is to the detriment of all other businesses. CIM spokesman Ray Jones said
“Small firms need to be very careful and to check out the Act before they do their advertising. But unfortunately the Act favours large corporate firms rather than smaller businesses.”
“This is a once in 60–years opportunity and all businesses should take advantage of it,” added Jones. “However, firms that want to use the Olympics to stimulate their business, but are not official sponsors, could fall foul of the law if they don’t do their research.”
The Federation of Small Businesses said that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has gone too far and that it should be flexible when enforcing the legislation. FSB policy manager for London Nick Winch said:
“Certain companies are paying vast amounts of money to have rights to use the logo and so on, but regarding copyright of words we hope that the legal people of the IOC will be reasonably flexible,”
“If the IOC is trying to encourage people to get interested in the Games, but then has lawyers cracking down on every small business because they’ve used two of these words in the same sentence, there is going to be disillusion. We need a light regulatory touch – the last thing you want to do is curb enthusiasm for the event.”
For more information about the 2006 London Olympic Games and Paralympics Games Act visit the Office of Public Sector Information website