Ambush Marketers: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

By BethPH Last edited 77 months ago
Ambush Marketers: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Government proposals could lead to anyone suspected of ambush marketing during the Olympics presumed guilty until proven innocent.

Ambush marketing involves advertisers associating themselves with an event without paying sponsorship fees. During the Winter Olympics, Scotiabank fell foul of official sponsors (and business rival) Royal Bank of Canada over an ad which appeared to contravene the organisers rules on marketing. Last year's World Cup saw the the ejection of 36 identically-attired women staging a marketing ambush for Dutch brewery Bavaria.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is proposing a 'temporary suspension' of the European Convention on Human Rights which presumes innocence until proven guilty. Reversal of this could leave anyone suspected of ambush marketing or unathorised trading near the Olympic Park open to legal action. Local traders have already been targeted by organisers LOCOG over alleged copyright infringements and even businesses using the year 2012 in their campaigns have come under scrutiny.

You'd think that suspending established human rights principles even temporarily in favour of profit-making might not be that great an idea, but watering down human rights laws are near the top of David Cameron's hit list and it appears the government are finding ever-inventive ways to create precedents.

Last Updated 29 September 2011


Speaking with direct knowledge of the case referred to in Canada I can say that the vey particular difference from the FIFA World Cup case referred to is that the Canadian case was ressolved through non-legal measures. This is to say that the Vancouver Organiizing Committtee and the non-sponsor bank in question engaged in dialogue and mutually agreed to adaptations to the campaign such that it no longer presented an unreasonable risk of misleading consumers.