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London 2012: The Drum's unofficial guide for unofficially sponsoring the Oymlpics Gamse 2102


By Jennifer Faull, Deputy Editor

July 25, 2012 | 3 min read

In light of the pedantic Olympics rules and regulations laid out by LOCOG, The Drum unofficially looks at some ways businesses can unofficially get involved this summer.

1. Sponsor the other London

Paddy Power revealed their perfectly pitched campaign for the biggest sporting event of London 2012, well London France that is. As sponsors of the egg and spoon race taking place in the French town, Paddy Power got round the LOCOG rules. Unfortunately the Olympic Committee didn't see the funny side and the ad was ordered down. However, Paddy Power have taken them to court.

2. Play by the rules - and let everyone know about it

Oddbins has challenged the LOCOG rules with a creative anti-LOCOG campaign rewarding people for using non-sponsor goods. Punters who drink Pepsi from Burger King, use a Mastercard and wear Nike trainers will be given 30% off their purchases. Window displays have highlighted the message that the chain is prohibited from referring to the Games in its marketing whilst managing to push its wine offers.

3. Use the classic 'spelling mistake' trick

Formal Focus Wear Surbiton mocked the draconian LOCOG rules with a 5 square logo, instead of the banned rings, and a misspelling of London Olympics and 2012 - carefully avoiding any use of banned words. Shop owner, Stephen Holt, has said passersby don't actually realise the clever mistakes - their minds trick them into reading it correctly.

4. Unofficial space allows for unofficial advertising

This is certainly one way to get round LOCOG. This billboard ad situated close to the Olympic Village has used every banned word, phrase and image but seeing as it too is technically illegal, having no planning permission, advertisers thought that "they could be naughty" too.

5. Find your Royal connection

Party Pieces, the party planning company owned by the Duchess of Cambridge’s family, infringed brand protection laws with its Olympic themed site. With a dedicated "Let the Games Begin" (breach no.1: use of the word Games) section, selling products featuring the Olympic rings (breach no.2) and athletes in the Olympic colours (breach no.3), the Middletons were ordered to make "minor" changes. Lesson? Cross your fingers and hope you too have a future Queen in the family.
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