Boats Around Olympic Park Exempt from Advertising Restrictions Clearing Path for Ambush Marketers

January 25, 2012

Ambush marketers are rejoicing after it was confirmed boats operating in and around the London 2012 Olympic Park in Stratford will be exempt from advertising restrictions during this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Boats which usually operate in the zone, transporting members of the public, can continue to do so and display advertising from brands who are not official Games sponsors, even though they will be seen by a potential television audience of several billion.

Exclusion zones were published in November by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) to prevent other brands advertising around the Olympic Park.

A spokesman for the ODA told insidethegames that the class B exemption would apply to these boats and similar vehicles.

“Moving vehicles used primarily to carry paying passengers are exempt from the restrictions designed to stop unauthorised ‘ambush marketing’ advertising during the Games,” he said.

“It will be up to enforcement officers to decide if this is really their purpose, or if they are simply for advertising.

“Should that be judged to be the case action may be taken to stop breaches of the rules.”

One of the companies who operate boats on the canals in and around the Olympic Park, Water Chariots, are hoping to take advantage of the rulings.

Their director of client services, James Sawyer, told Event Magazine: “We’ve had quite a few people come and look at the boats.

“The branding is an opportunity we’re offering up, and there’s some interest in the marketplace for it as you can imagine.

“It’s a creative solution to the restrictions.”

Such creativity will likely not be taken too kindly by the Olympics sponsors, whose exemption is meant for boats and brands ordinarily displayed in the area.

New sponsors coming on board to take advantage of the situation would represent a grey area and it is possible they could be seen as a breach of the restrictions.