Small Businesses Complain About Strict Rules On The Use Of Olympics Logos And Words
Civil liberties campaigners urged police "not to crack down hard on small traders" suspected of breaching strict rules on the use of Olympic logos and words, according to Rosa Silverman of the London TELEGRAPH. The restrictions mean that "only official sponsors are allowed to display images of the Olympic rings" or use the words "London 2012" and "Olympics." However, critics have branded the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 that brought in the ban as "chilling." Dir of Liberty Shami Chakrabarti called for "proportionality," and argued the London Olympics should be about freedom. Chakrabarti said, "If this is going to be the freedom Games that we all want, enforcement has to be light touch and common sense. The magic word is proportionality" (TELEGRAPH, 7/17). The TELEGRAPH also reported that police guarding the Olympics were told "to empty their crisps into plastic bags" so they did not inadvertently advertise brands, which are not sponsoring the Games. Senior officers told officers who will be patrolling the Games' rowing events that they "must not be seen with snacks such as Walker's crisps or Ginsters pasties." Police officers were up in arms over the absurd rule. A Police Federation member for Thames Valley Police, who are policing all rowing events for the Olympic and Paralympic Games at Dorney Lake, in Eton, Berkshire said: "I'd like to see a security guard try to tell a police officer to empty his lunch into clear bags." However, after LOCOG was made aware of the strict interpretation of their rules by Thames Valley Police chiefs and the discord of officers, they spoke to the police and issued clarification. One police officer said, "The revised guidance amounts to a major climbdown by our top brass who have realised they were taking the 'no branding or advertising' rules a tad too literally" (TELEGRAPH, 7/17).