London

Olympic venues to be protected from marketing stunts

Olympics stadium
Image caption The Olympic stadium will be covered by the regulations

A clampdown on unauthorised trading close to Olympic venues and road race routes during London 2012 has been announced.

Billboard adverts, posters, flyers, give-aways, and projected, moving and aerial advertising will be covered.

Standard shop signs and in-store advertising will be exempt.

Organisers want to stamp out "ambush marketing" as sponsorship money makes up more than half of the £2bn needed to stage the event.

The consultation document sets out what would be covered by the regulations, which are designed to manage advertising and trading in open spaces within a few hundred metres of the Olympic and Paralympic venues and road race routes.

Earls Court, ExCel, Greenwich Park, Horse Guards Parade, and Lord's Cricket Ground are among the London venues and routes that will be affected.

The regulations will also affect the Olympic time trial, Olympic triathlon run and cycle legs and the cycling road race and marathon routes.

Venues affected outside London include Broxbourne, Eton Dorney, Hadleigh Farm in Essex, Hampden Park, Millennium Stadium, Old Trafford, St James's Park, Weymouth and Portland.

The consultation document asks whether the proposals for the areas affected by the regulations and the duration they apply are reasonable.

Ambush marketing

Ambush marketing is when a firm tries to create unauthorised association between their name or brand and a major sporting event, detracting from the rights of official sponsors of the event.

A recent example was when 36 women wearing identical dresses, which had featured in a Dutch brewery's beer promotion were ejected from a football match during the 2010 World Cup.

The Cup's authorised beer was Budweiser which pays millions of dollars for the privilege.

During last year's Vancouver Winter Olympics the International Olympic Committee stepped up efforts to discourage ambush marketing, and the Canadian organisers introduced tough legislation to back up their actions.

Olympics Minister Hugh Robertson, said: "Sponsorship is part of modern international sport providing a vital source of funding."

He said the measures being proposed were in line with those used at all Olympics since Sydney 2000 and will apply to a small area around venues and only around the time events are taking place.

"They aim to strike the right balance between preventing unauthorised advertising and trading that damage the rights of the sponsors and enabling businesses to operate as usual," he added.

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