As London gears up for the very soon 2012 games so are a legion of purple capped crusaders willing and able to enforce the law against ill-behaved and ill-informed advertisers.
A piece of nifty legislation was passed especially for the 2012 London games that prohibits advertisers from any guerrilla or ambush marketing attempts during the Olympic period. A 300 strong enforcement team have the right to enter shops and offices and bring court actions with fines up to £20,000. They have been aptly named the ‘brand police’.
The Olympics legislation bans the use by unauthorised businesses (non-sponsors) of controlled representations dependent on the context. So basically there is a list of banned words being: The Olympic Symbol (the five interlocking rings), The Olympic Motto (Citius Altius Fortius' / 'Faster Higher Stronger', Olympic (s), Olympiad (s), Olympian (s), The Paralympic Symbol (the three 'agitos'), The Paralympic Motto ('Spirit in Motion'), Paralympic (s), Paralympiad (s), Paralympian (s), London, Games, Summer, Two thousand and twelve, 2012, Twenty Twelve, Medals, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Sponsors.
Further to this, at the 40 Olympics venues, 800 retailers have been banned from serving chips to avoid infringing fast-food rights secured by McDonald's.
It is being touted the biggest brand protection operation ever staged in the UK!
Whilst some of the words make a lot of sense, there are quite a few that seem a little too much, Summer for example.
It will be interesting to see how rogue advertisers re-act to this to see if and how they creatively manage their way around it.
What do you think?
Further reading can be found here: