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SBD Global/June 11, 2012/Olympics

Angry Business Leaders Put Pressure On IOC To Relax IOC Rules

More than 75,000 firms that helped to deliver the London Games are "fighting a 12-year gagging order preventing them from talking about the work they have done," according to Merrick & Leftly of the London INDEPENDENT. Business leaders are "trying to force" Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Jeremy Hunt and senior ministers to override IOC rules "banning marketing of their work in building the Olympic Village."  The rules, which have applied to all Games in recent years, "are designed to protect the rights of high-spending sponsors during the 10 weeks of the Olympic and Paralympic Games."  Yet the 12-year ban on the mostly British firms even mentioning on websites that they have supplied construction equipment, plumbing or plastic seating "makes a mockery" of claims by Prime Minister David Cameron that the Olympics will deliver a "lasting economic legacy that will benefit the whole country." Businesses have been lobbying the government and the Olympic Delivery Authority "behind the scenes" for several weeks. A review of the rules by the ODA Chair Sir John Armitt and commissioned by Hunt, is being finalized. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said the report could be published before the Games begin next month. If the Armitt report favors more lenient IOC rules, it could "force a major showdown between the government and the Olympic body" (INDEPENDENT, 6/8).
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