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Volume 24 No. 137
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U.K. Government To Fine Ambush Marketing Streakers Donning Logos During '12 Olympics

Streakers during '12 London Games could
face huge fine or even jail time
New U.K. government guidelines state that streakers at the ’12 London Games will face fines of US$31,500 or “a possible jail sentence if they have a company’s logo painted on their naked body,” according to James Hall of the London TELEGRAPH. The U.K. Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has published “strict guidelines that ban ‘advertising on the human body’ in order to prevent what it calls ‘ambush marketing’ during the Olympic or Paralympic Games.” DCMS said that it “has imposed the rules after streakers with corporate logos painted on their bodies targeted previous Olympic events.” It said that it “was regulating advertising and trading during the Olympics and Paralympics to ensure that the games ‘have a consistent look and feel,’ to protect sponsors against ‘ambush marketing’” (London TELEGRAPH, 10/14). In London, Matthew Beard noted unlike the “usual position with criminal offences, perpetrators of so-called ‘ambush marketing’ will be presumed guilty unless they can prove their innocence.” This will involve them “showing either that they had no knowledge of the activity or that they took reasonable steps to prevent it happening.” Amid concerns about "human rights" and the “reversal of normal legal presumptions, the DCMS claimed the legislation is ‘reasonable and proportionate.’" London-based attorney Nick Johnson said that the legislation “could catch not just ambush marketers but also official sponsors who go beyond their contractual sponsorship rights” (LONDON EVENING STANDARD, 10/13). The FINANCIAL TIMES’ Vanessa Kortekaas notes companies are “being urged to introduce ‘anti-ambush marketing’ policies before next year’s games to avoid staff being held liable for infringing Olympic legislation.” The advertising and street trading regulations for the Games “aim to define zones of controlled advertising around venues and to protect sponsors’ rights by deterring ‘ambushing,’ where other companies associate their brands with the Games” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 10/14).

LET'S GET TOGETHER: MARKETING magazine’s Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith reported Coca-Cola is “in talks with fellow sponsor Visa to introduce cashless payment vending machines to the UK during the Games, within the Olympic park.” Visa is “already working with two other Olympic sponsors,” as it “struck a partnership with Lloyds TSB in May that included a tie-up with Samsung's Near Field Communication (NFC)-ready handsets to promote cashless payments in the run-up to the Olympics.” Samsung is “expected to issue the handsets to athletes and to put them on general sale” (, 10/13).