“Victoria Pendleton will not be able to tweet about tucking into her Weetabix on the morning of race day, or post a video message to fans from her room in the athletes' village. Pub landlords will be banned from posting signs reading: "Come and watch the London Games from our big screen!" Fans in the crowd won't be allowed to upload snippets of the day's action to YouTube – or even, potentially, to post their snaps from inside the Olympic Village on Facebook. And a crack team of branding "police", the Games organisers Locog have acknowledged, will be checking every bathroom in every Olympic venue – with the power to remove or tape over manufacturers' logos even on soap dispensers, wash basins and toilets.
With just … months to go until the opening of the London 2012 Games, attention is increasingly turning to what many legal experts consider to be the most stringent restrictions ever put in place to protect sponsors' brands and broadcasting rights, affecting every athlete, Olympics ticket holder and business in the UK.”
That is Esther Addley, writing in the Guardian about the laws surrounding the Olympics, and the interpretation likely to be put on them. See her whole article here
She quotes this incident:
A photoshoot promoting easyJet's new routes from London Southend airport was also interrupted by a Locog monitor after local athlete Sally Gunnell was handed a union flag to drape over her shoulders. According to reports, Locog felt this would create too direct an association with her famous pose after winning Olympic gold in Barcelona in 1992 (British Airways, rather than easyJet, is the airline sponsor of London 2012).
Locog chose not to comment on the incident, but aspokeswoman said: "If we did not take steps to protect the brand from unauthorised use and ambush marketing, the exclusive rights which our partners have acquired would be undermined. Without the investment of our partners, we simply couldn't stage the Games."
I’m tired of hearing that if the sponsors didn’t pay we couldn’t stage the Games. The largest share by far of the reported £10 billion costs comes not from sponsors but from every UK taxpayer by way of central government funds, the National Lottery, the Mayor of London, the budgets of the MoD and Met police. Let’s not forget also the hard work of 70,000 volunteers. We could have staged the Games without the sponsors: they would have been cheaper, less profligate Games.
I have to assume that the artist who created this graffiti in one of my local streets will shortly be marched off to the Tower, having created "an association with the London Olympics" - see the rules below.
(Look closely to see how the bird is expressing its displeasure with the Olympic rings)
Banned during the Games: What the rules say
Non-sponsor companies and businesses don't …
• Say: "Supporting our athletes at the 2012 Games!" or "Help us make it a Gold 2012!"
• Use images that suggest an assocation with the London Olympics.
• Offer tickets as part of a promotion.
Crowd members don't …
• Upload a clip of William and Kate tripping up the steps of the Olympic stadium to Youtube: "A Ticket Holder may not license, broadcast or publish video and/or sound recordings, including on social networking websites and the internet."
• Post your pictures to Facebook – this may fall under the same restriction.
• Take part in an ambush marketing stunt, "including, for the avoidance of doubt individual or group ambush marketing".