UK Advertisers, Agencies Welcome Dilution of Olympics Bill

08 March 2006

After heavy lobbying by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising - the official body representing British advertising, media and marketing communications agencies and the Advertising Association, which represent advertisers and other sections of the industry - the House of Lords on Tuesday night agreed to three requested changes to the advertising provision in the Olympics and Paralympics Bill.

The most important change concerns the reinstatement of the normal presumption of innocence for an infringement. But the agreed amendments are limited and the Act will still mean that only official sponsors will be able to associate themselves with the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Any form of association with the Games by unofficial sponsors will be an infringement of the new association right.

Comments IPA legal director Marina Palomba: "The IPA, with the aid of the Advertising Association, has been expressing concern over the Bill for many months and now looks forward to a constructive working relationship with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) over finalising guidelines for implementation of new 'London Olympics Association Right'.

"The IPA and LOCOG will undertake an extensive education programme to help agencies appreciate the restrictions and understand the opportunities for advertisers when it comes into force."

Since the Bill came before parliament in June 2005, the IPA has been actively lobbying for certain amendments to ensure a balance between protecting the rights of official sponsors and allowing genuine freedom of commercial expression, especially that of local businesses.

Data sourced from Institute of Practitioners in Advertising; additional content by WARC staff