The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising - the official body representing British advertising, media and marketing communications agencies - on Thursday wrote to all 646 Members of Parliament.

The IPA's timing seems a tad eccentric as UK lawmakers are currently enjoying their annual nine week summer recess [excess?]. Nonetheless, it is always possible that a handful of conscientious politicos will dutifully plough through their bulging mailbags as a break from the beach.

The purpose of the mailing is to advise MPs of the IPA's concern at what it sees as heavy-handed and unnecessary legislation contained in the proposed Olympics Bill, due to be read in the House of Commons in October.

The mailshot follows the IPA's submission to the Department of Culture Media and Sport in July 2005, and refers to three aspects of the proposed bill that will impact on the advertising and marketing communications industry. These are ...

  • The control of advertising within the vicinity of the Olympic sites (clause 17)

  • The protection of the Olympic and Paralympic symbols and words (clause 30 and schedule 2).

  • The creation of a 'London Olympics Association Right' to prevent what is widely defined as 'ambush marketing' (clause 31).
As it stands, the 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 argues that official sponsors do not require any additional protection and that IOC requirements are more than adequately met within existing UK law.

To view the full IPA report containing examples of new restrictions imposed by the bill click here.

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