SBD/June 10, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

LOCOG To Investigate Honda Campaign For Potential Ambush Marketing

Honda is using four British Olympians in "Power of Dreams" campaign

LOCOG officials have said that they will “investigate whether Honda’s latest digital campaign, fronted by four Olympic hopefuls, has breached Olympic rules on advertising, a claim denied by the car maker,” according to Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith of MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk. Honda U.K. has partnered with four British athletes -- cyclist Ed Clancy, gymnast Beth Tweddle, javelin thrower Goldie Sayers and swimmer Jazmin Carlin -- to “showcase their talents in the run up” to the ’12 London Games under Honda’s “Power of Dreams” brand message. BMW is the official car sponsor of London 2012, and Honda does not have “any official commercial ties” to the Games. Synergy CEO Tim Crow said that Honda’s ad is “a clear example of ambush marketing.” But a Honda spokesperson refuted that suggestion, saying, “We have not been hunting out Olympians. This is a long-term campaign.” Honda’s campaign is live, and “consumers can follow the athletes through a dedicated microsite, www.honda.co.uk/powerofdreamsteam, which will showcase the athletes’ talents and their journey to the Olympic Games.” As part of the agreement, Honda “will give each athlete a car to get them to and from competitions and to carry their sports equipment” (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 6/10).

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