Are the #Olympics killing freedom of speech in the UK
We are now less than a week away from the start of the greatest sporting event on the planet, but at what cost?
It seems that Lord Coe is dictating what visitors to events are wearing, and what products they can have with them.
This week i heard that one of the emergency services during a PR photography session even had staff take off watches and belts that showed logos/ brands that were not official sponsors, and because BMW are an official sponsor, the NHS have been asked to cover up the logo on the front of their Mercedes ambulances when on Olympic sites
Even the Social Science Network have written a paper outlining the sever restrictions placed on UK citizens (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2017361).
So what can you take/ not take/ wear to the 2012 Olympics?
According to the ITV website
“Any individual coming into our venues can wear any item of clothing, branded or otherwise. The only issue is if large groups come in together wearing clearly visible branding/marketing.”
According to the official guide on the 2012 site:
Any objects or clothing bearing political statements or overt commercial identification intended
for ‘ambush marketing’
Now what is “ambush marketing” – one person..2..10..100?
Sky news report:
“”No, you probably wouldn’t be walking in with a Pepsi T-shirt because Coca-Cola are our sponsors,” said Lord Coe.
“They have put millions of pounds into this project, but also millions of pounds into grass roots sport. It is important to protect those sponsors.”
But Locog, the organising committee that Lord Coe heads, denied that was the case.
“Any individual coming into our venues can wear any item of clothing, branded or otherwise,” the committee said in a “mythbuster” fact sheet.
However it did admit there could be a problem “if large groups come in together wearing clearly visible branding/marketing”.
It said that could be classed as “ambush marketing” by non-sponsors – which would be a definite no-no.”
So its as clear as mud already. The reported “myth fact sheet” is not to be found easily – so what is the real story?
Then we have LOCOG stopping mom-and-pop shops from selling “logo” like products donuts etc – and as London Mayor Boris has said:
The London Mayor said: “If you want to stick five doughnuts in your window and call them Olympic rings then be my guest.
“Or if bakers want to make a gigantic Olympic pretzel in the high streets of London to advertise their wares then let them do so.”
Is it worth a £20,000 fine?
Yes – you read that right – for violating the Olympic terms of attendance that is a potentiol loss of £20,000 – as well as having the material taken, and you being rejected from the event you have paid for.