Rogge: ‘Common sense will prevail’ about Ambush Marketing at London 2012

By Community | July 22, 2012

IOC President Jacques Rogge played down fears that wearing the wrong kind of logo on a T-shirt could cause a ticket holder to be denied entry to an Olympic venue.

Rogge said no action would be taken against individuals if they wear clothing, for example, made by a competitor of official London Games sponsors.

He said the IOC and local organising committee would not be heavy-handed after head organiser Sebastian Coe told a British radio station on Friday that a person probably would not be allowed into an Olympic venue wearing a Pepsi T-shirt because soft drink rival Coca-Cola was a main sponsor.

“Common sense would prevail,” Rogge said, but warned that Olympic sponsors’ rights would be protected and a “blatant” attempt at ambush marketing would result in intervention by the IOC and the local organising committee.

“Our position is very clear. We have to protect the sponsors because otherwise there is no sponsorship and without sponsorship there is no games,” Rogge said.

“However, you have to be balanced and reasonable and I am sure that is going to be the case.”

Rogge added that individual cases would not be pursued by the police.

“LOCOG will have a very, I will say, subtle approach,” he said.

“But if there is a blatant attempt at ambush marketing by another company or by a group of people with commercial views, then of course we will intervene.”

Olympics organisers are similarly vigilant about protecting the rights of sponsors like McDonald’s, Adidas, Cadbury and Coca-Cola, which pay as much as $100 million each to be official sponsors during each Olympic cycle.

The logos of competitors are banned from venues, and under a special Olympic law passed by the British Parliament, businesses can be barred from using words and phrases – including “London 2012” or even gold, silver and bronze – that suggest an Olympic association.

“Common sense will prevail and LOCOG will work with common sense,” Rogge said.