As the Olympics approach the red tape surrounding the events, and the commercial side of the games is heating up. Despite the UK tax payer footing the majority of the bill, £9 billion (approximately £150 for every man, woman and child), we are at risk of arrest and as much as a £20,000 fine if they are found to be using the Olympics for commercial gain. Olympics no no's:
- Any use of the five ring Olympic symbol is prohibited. The iconic symbol was officially protected by law in 1995. E.g. Sausage rings were removed from a butcher's window in Dorset.
- You can pay with your Visa card at the events but not with MasterCard.
- Spectators must not publish, broadcast video or sound recordings including on social networking websites. So don't upload things to Blottr or Facebook or Twitter guys, is that right?
- Any use of the 2012 logo is also prohibited, along with the official Olympic mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville.
- The words 'games', '2012', and 'two thousand and twelve' cannot be used in any combination with eachother and 'London', a combination of these words is illegal.
- The use of gold, silver and bronze medals is also illegal in any advertisements or campaigns.
- Advertising close to Olympic sites (within 200 metres) is banned. Unless you already own a shop, or food outlet in the area in which case your window can remain as it always is, but with no direct advertisement using any of the above. Confused? So am I.
- The same goes for trading in event zones. There can be no trading close to an Olympic site, again unless the shop or food outlet is already there, in which case business can go on as usual but the Olympics cannot be used to promote the products.
- Even if you are an official supplier of goods or services to the summer's events, you cannot advertise it. It is prohibited to mention your association with the Games except by including a reference to your contract in a list that includes at least nine other client names; and you must deliver your supplies for the Games without any brand name, trade name or trade mark appearing.
These terms continue to apply after the London Games are over and there is also a strict confidentiality undertaking. Although the seemingly excessive bureaucracy is to protect the commercial investors in the Olympics, if even they can't exploit their role in the games, who is benefiting? If not businesses, local people or the UK population who are paying for the events?