Graham Davies, senior partner at Martin Kaye LLP Solicitors in Telford, Shropshire, said many companies would be planning to celebrate the 2012 Olympic Games in some sort of way – maybe by offering a special promotion or a discount directly linked to the events. However, despite the obvious attractions to businesses of getting involved in the Games in this way, Graham warned that this could be a very risky plan.
“If this is your marketing strategy you’ll need to do your homework very carefully or you may be in breach of the Olympics Act 2006,” Graham warned. He went on to say that official sponsors and advertisers have paid around £700 million to have their names and brands associated with the Olympics, “so you can understand why they wouldn’t want their investment, name or the Olympics itself being ambushed by anyone with no official status. This could happen if your company claims a product or service you’re selling is associated with or linked to the Games in some way, even innocently.”
In case anyone thinks that officials might overlook this, Graham warns that the already strict advertising rules surrounding the Olympics have been tightened up to tackle the problem, and there is a greater responsibility on companies to prove that they have not broken the rules.
“The Act defines exactly what advertising is regulated and in what areas. This includes billboards, posters, advertisements and any other forms of marketing such as giveaways, promotions and aerial advertising”
So, the advice of Martin Kaye Solicitors is that “your first step should be to check out the official guidance on how to use the Olympic brand and you might also consider contacting your local authority’s licensing officer for advice. But to avoid risking a serious breach of the rules, it might be wiser to remove any mention of the Olympics from your advertising or promotional material altogether.”
For more legal advice from this leading Shropshire solicitor, visit their website http://www.martinkaye.co.uk/
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Martin-Kaye LLP is one of the West Midlands fastest growing legal practices. Based in Telford, the firm boasts a number of specialist departments with a particular focus on commercial and business law.