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SBD Global/June 21, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Coke Chief Marketer Defends Olympic Sponsors' Crack Down On Marketing Restrictions

Coca-Cola Exec VP & Chief Marketer Joe Tripodi has "defended the regulations being implemented" by LOCOG around its marketing rights for the London Olympic Games, according to Stephen Lepitak of THE DRUM. Tripodi highlighted the commitment by LOCOG to protect the rights of sponsors, who have paid "a ton of money" for the rights, but also recognised that "such infringements did happen." Tripodi said, “We certainly don’t want to see any of our large competitors ambush us in any way, but I don’t lose any sleep over small merchants doing those things." He added, "I know the press in GB can be a little harsh and cynical at times, but fundamentally it’s something that has to be done and it’s down to the way you do it, and I don’t think we’ve seen LOCOG giving me pause to say we’ve got to talk to them in the spirit of the Olympics. Their enforcement is appropriate given the amount of money that the sponsors are putting in" (THEDRUM.co.uk, 6/19).

A NEW ANGLE: Coca-Cola is "taking its Olympic sponsorship one step further" with an ad-sponsored original TV show "Beat TV," according to Natalie Zmuda of AD AGE. The company's first "original series" will air 10 episodes on weeknights from July 30-Aug. 10. The show will include a "mobile pop-up studio" called the Beat Bus, which can be used by Coca-Cola marketers around the world. Coca-Cola Global Olympic Marketing Dir Claudia Navarro said, "Instead of focusing on what's happening on the pitch, the medalists. ... We'll capture the vibe of London, the social aspect of it for the fans." Navarro said that the show "will target teens" in more than 30 countries, having secured hosts that speak English, German and Spanish, while other countries will use subtitles. Time slots and show length "will vary by region, though the majority will feature a 30-minute format." The show will be ad-supported -- "advertisers besides Coca-Cola can buy air time during the episodes," which even includes rival PepsiCo, though Navarro "considers that unlikely." Episodes will most often air on stations that have "official rights to the Olympics and therefore previous ad commitments from Coca-Cola" (ADAGE.com, 6/19).
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