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Paddy Power nearly injuncted Seb Coe to appear at High Court in defence of Olympics ambush marketing stunt

LOCOG chief Seb Coe could have been injuncted by Paddy Power to appear at the high court of London on the day of the Olympic Opening ceremony.

Speaking to The Drum ahead of his appearance at 4 Minute Warning, Paddy Power’s head of mischief Ken Robertson has revealed that had LOCOG not given up its bid to make Paddy Power take down its ambush marketing stunt poster, the bookmaker planned to injunct LOCOG in an effort to continue with the campaign.

The poster, which claimed that Paddy Power was the sponsor of “the largest athletics event in London” with a disclaimer below stating that it was London, France, was challenged by LOCOG as being against its advertising restrictions.

Paddy Power challenged the request to JC Decaux to remove the poster, and primed its lawyers for action. The resulting social media activity in defence of the campaign eventually saw LOCOG change its mind.

However, its reason for doing so may have been due to the potential appearance of Lord Coe in the High Court on one of the biggest days of the whole event.

“We pulled an all nighter with our law firm and turned the tables on them and we injuncted them before they could injunct us,” explained Robertson. “We were also injuncting Seb Coe and had that played out the way we hoped it would, and LOCOG hadn’t backed down in the way they did, that means we would have basically been injuncting Sebastian Coe to arrive at the High Courts in London on the day of the Opening Ceremony to try and defend their position on making us take down the billboards. That would have been quite interesting.”

He continued: “We were on the steps of the High Court, we had an audience with the judge at 10.15am and we got a phone call at 10am from LOCOG saying that they had reconsidered their position and that they were not going to seek an injunction to take down our billboard.

“It would have been interesting to see how it would have played out if it did go to court. I suppose in a way we knew as soon as the Games started that people would stop complaining about LOCOG as people forget about it and focus on the Games. I’m glad in a way that it finished up when it did, it was a good time for it to finish.”

Robertson is to speak at 4 Minute Warning, The Drum’s one day marketing summit taking place at The Crystal in London on 5 December.