Coke's chief marketer defends Olympic 2012 sponsors' crack down on marketing restrictions around Games
Coca-Cola’s chief marketer Joe Tripodi has defended the regulations being implemented by LOCOG around its marketing rights for the London 2012 Olympic Games. Speaking at press session at the Cannes Festival of Creativity, Tripodi, executive vice president and chief marketing and commercial officer for Coca-Cola responded to The Drum’s question about criticism over his thoughts on the clampdown that LOCOG has begun on local retailers trying to cash in on the Olympics. He highlighted the commitment by LOCOG to protect the rights of sponsors, who have paid ‘a ton of money’ for the rights, but also recognised that such infringements did happen. “We certainly don’t want to see any of our large competitors ambush us in any way, but I don’t lose any sleep over small merchants doing those things. A lot of that is just driven by a lack of knowledge of what the rules are. But fundamentally we have a massive investment in that programme and the organising committee is dedicated to protecting the investment of the sponsors because without the sponsors, there’s no Olympic Games.” He continued: “They feel that they really need to protect our rights and they’ve done a nice job. I know the press in GB can be a little harsh and cynical at times, but fundamentally it’s something that has to be done and it’s down to the way you do it, and I don’t think we’ve seen LOCOG giving me pause to say ‘we’ve got to talk to them in the spirit of the Olympics. Their enforcement is appropriate given the amount of money that the sponsors are putting in.” Meanwhile, he also revealed that the company could roll out its Project Rebrief ‘Hilltop’ campaign across new markets next year and said that should another campaign be chosen for a similar revamp, then he would choose Coca-Cola’s ‘Mean Joe Green’ ad for such treatment, as that of Google’s current work.