Marketers create cautiously for London 2012

The Committee of Advertising Practice has laid down guidelines for freelance marketers and advertisers contracted to perform creative tasks for London’s Olympic Games in 2012, in light of laws restricting the use of Olympic rings, symbols and trademarks.

The Committee warns that the Government is introducing legislative powers to conceal or remove advertising that uses the words ‘Olympic,’ ‘Olympian,’ ‘London 2012,’ the Olympic rings and the ‘Team GB’ logo.

Once the official emblem of the 2012 Games has been designed, it too will be outlawed from use on advertising, marketing or promotional material by the capital’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses.

A host of other key symbols, statements and even derivatives of statements, such as London, will also be taboo terms for marketers or entrepreneurs seeking to cash in on the sports bonanza.

Official sponsors, suppliers and licensees will be the only parties eligible to use the long list of Olympic Marks, which are tightly controlled by the British Olympic Association (BOA) and the International Olympic Committee(IOC).

These groups explain the marks are sacred symbols because organisations participating in the 2012 Games marketing programme must be confident they are investing in something that is not available for free.

By the end of 2006, it is understood that the first applications to become sponsors, suppliers or licensees will be opened, but until then London 2012 organisers declare, “we cannot for the moment permit anyone to use the Olympic Marks.”

Organisers also declare that due to demand, London 2012 currently needs no volunteers, no extra suppliers of goods and services, and adds that a sponsorship programme is to be launched “at a later date.”

The Games officials do however state they are “keen to work with marketers to help them ensure their marketing communications stick to the rules,” adding that the best way creative and business personnel can support London 2012 by not engaging in the unauthorised use of the Olympic Marks or purchasing unauthorised merchandise.

In a clear warning to all marketing and advertising professionals who like to plan ahead, organisers state: ”It is unlawful to post the Olympic logo, the London 2012 logo or the mark 'London 2012' on websites, signage, written materials or merchandise.

“It is also unlawful, whether through the use of the Olympic Marks or otherwise, to falsely represent any association, affiliation, endorsement, sponsorship or similar relationship with London 2012, Team GB, IOC,BOA, the 2012 Games or the Olympic Movement.”

For more information on what not to do for 2012, please visit:


20th October 2005

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