Businesses: be careful when marketing around the Olympics!

04 May

No Olympic logos here!

If you’re a business operating in the UK, it’s so tempting to think you can pin some of your marketing and advertising on certain summer sporting events. But be careful – the Games’ Marks are very carefully protected, and you can run into big trouble if you break the rules!

It may seem a bit harsh, but events do need to protect the investment of their sponsors, and this includes making sure that companies that haven’t paid for sponsorship don’t profit as much as those who have.

Thinking about it on more local terms, if you’ve bought kit for your local football team, and you go along to the match to see your company logo all over their kit, you’d be really annoyed to find a rival company at the gate, giving away merchandise with their information plastered all over it, but without any official status or paying for the privilege. Well, it’s really the same here.

There’s lots of information on this official website so I won’t repeat it. What I will repeat is: be careful. Just as you wouldn’t infringe other copyright, “borrowing” the typeface or logos of the market leader in your sector to confuse potential clients and drive them to buy your products, so you need to keep away from pushing the Olympic angle, unless, of course, you are an official sponsor or partner. Keep aware of the Games’ Marks and be careful, and you’ll be fine. Try to muscle in on the action, and you might find yourself with a hefty punishment.

*Note: I’m not trying to cash in myself with this post! I have had to mention this issue to a couple of my clients recently, so it seemed worth summarising it all in a more public place.

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Posted by on May 4, 2012 in Be careful, Business, Ethics


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