Pubs can advertise Olympic screenings—but not all
9 July, 2012
Pubs will be able to advertise their screenings of events from this summer’s London Olympics following concessions from the organizing committee—but only if they stick to tight guidelines that specifically exclude chain operators.
The London Organising Committee of the Olympics and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) has produced a ‘Watch the Games Here’ poster that pubs, bars and hotels can use to advertise their screenings. It can be downloaded here.
The poster will help operators get around the strict rules on use of Olympic logos and symbols that have frustrated many businesses in the lead-up to the games. LOCOG has been rigidly enforcing powers that protect the rights of the Olympics and its sponsoring partners—and is granting use of the poster only with plenty of accompanying regulations. Only one poster can be displayed per public entrance, and chain pubs and restaurants are not allowed to use them at all.
Outlining the required use of the poster, LOCOG said: “It is essential that the unique and exclusive rights of our official Games sponsors, who are our our Partners in putting on the Games, are protected… So our rules for screening the Games are designed to ensure that the way in which a business refers to the fact that it is showing the Games does not create an association with the Games.”
LOCOG also sounded a warning to operators about the poster. “Although we have no desire to dampen public enthusiasm and we always seek to act in a proportionate and sensible way, we are tough on commercial abuse and will not hesitate to take action to address ambush and infringement.”
The British Beer and Pub Association is seeking clarification on LOCOG’s rule about chain pubs displaying the poster. Chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “It is good to have an official ‘Watch the Games Here’ poster to enable pubs to advertise that they are showing the Games and encourage customers to watch. We will however explore further the guidance around its use, as I hope the rules will not restrict some pub chains from having a poster. Whilst we all support and understand the rights of brands who have paid millions of pounds to sponsor the Olympics and Paralympics, it would be great for a pub to be able to say simply on its chalkboard ‘We are showing the Olympic Games here’.”
For LOCOG’s full list of rules about use of the poster, click here.