LOCOG 2006 – Enter the sponsorship police!

I was reading this article from the The Spectator on Olympic censorship http://bit.ly/Sp8c8d – and I didn’t know whether to applaud or scream.

Its author, Fraser Nelson, debates the rights of the sponsor over everyone else and whether this can be justified.

On one hand, there is the UK govt and all and sundry trying to do their earnest to protect the rights of sponsors.

On the other, there are legal teams reaping incalculable sums in ‘enforcing’ draconian and ridiculous trademark laws.

From The Spectator:

  • A butcher in Weymouth was told to remove his display of sausages in the shape of the Olympic rings.
  • Olympicnic, a small village in Surrey has been stopped from running an “Olympicnic” on its village green.

Where is the line drawn between something being necessary to protect value and a complete waste of tax-payer money?

The amount of money required to stop all of the ‘illegal’ Olympic merchandising and promotions (see above and here http://bit.ly/Sp8c8d) just doesn’t exist. And the UK will be sent to the IMF for a bail out if it attempts to enforce it.

I believe the problems lie in that sponsorship, as other industries, have enjoyed a boom over the past years – and the pop hasn’t yet happened, or people are still ignoring it…

Society by and large is still willing to pay for entertainment, and so stars, who are also not the most realistic of people generally, are demanding their ‘fair’ share. This in turn ramps up the cost of the ‘property’ in question.

However, as with all things there is a tipping point.

How much is the tax-payer really willing to pay for hosting a global event such as the Olympics, a Formula 1 race, or the FIFA World Cup in their country?

And, if that line is crossed – who should take up the slack?

It has been widely reported that the UK Olympics operation has gone over budget. They dearly need the sponsors to back the event to avoid leaving a massive debt on the UK tax payer – for which there is no obvious ROI or benefit for individual citizens.

The only way to protect this value is through artificially propping the property up with legislation – instead of asking those involved to reasonably expect a lower quality of event which is in line with the current state of the world/national economy…. (Arguably the lower standards is happening as well, if the current complaints against G4S and its security arrangements should be considered.)

To artificially protect these properties is similar to defending inefficient state-owned industries. It’s possibly fine until the next election, but as with everything else – someone at some point has to foot the bill.

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About stephenking2012

In 2012 I volunteered to hold the position of Chair - Standards & Ethics Committee for the Middle East PR Association (@MEPRA_org). I have set up this account to assist in this effort. You may also like to follow my Blog or connect with me on LinkedIn. In any case, please do visit www.mepra.org, and if you are not yet a member, please do sign up!
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