UK Agencies Lobby MPs over 2012 Olympics Bill

30 November 2005

Britain's Institute of Practitioners in Advertising - the official body representing the UK's advertising, media and marketing communications agencies - has written to all 646 Members of Parliament to advise them of concern at what it sees as extensive and largely unnecessary legislation in the proposed Olympics Bill [WAMN: 11-July-05].

The lobbying of individual MPs comes after the IPA put its concerns to the Department for Culture Media and Sport in July in relation to the 2012 Games to be held in London.

The draft Bill, to be read next October, contains three aspects that will impact on the advertising and marketing communications industry:
1 The control of advertising within the vicinity of the Olympic sites.
2 The protection of the Olympic and Paralympic symbols and words.
3 The creation of a 'London Olympics Association Right' to prevent what is widely defined as 'ambush marketing'.

The IPA says the proposed Bill seeks to greatly extend UK law over and above the protection provided for general copyright, passing off, trade marks and the Olympic Symbols Protection Act.

The IPA believes official sponsors do not require any additional protection and that IOC requirements are more than adequately complied with within existing UK law.

The IPA view on the three particular aspects of the Bill are: that the term 'in the vicinity of' needs further definition - as the Bill stands at the moment the Secretary of State has the power to ban all poster advertising without compensation which the IPA believes is unacceptable; that it supports the proposed protection of the Paralympic symbols; that there is no need to create a 'London Olympics Association Right' because existing law provides adequate protection.

Data sourced from IPA; additional content by WARC staff