“London 2012” Put Out More Flags

One big difference between the Olympics and the Jubilee, is that everybody from smallest stall holder to mega-store was able to cash in on the Jubilee GB brand. I have never seen so many Union flags and so much bunting. It wasn’t just pretty, it was good for businesses. Conversely, anybody even dreaming of putting something resembling the Olympic Rings in any shop window or website, gets a heavy duty warning notice of intended prosecution from the IOC. So London will be without the explosion of spontaneous visual excitement, which is a real shame.

I am not prepared to buy into the IOC line that “The International Olympic Committee and London organizers raised more than $2.4 billion from the sale of marketing rights in the four years through the 2008 games in Beijing, providing more than 44 percent of their funding during the period. The rings are among the world’s most recognized symbols. Companies like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola and Samsung, which pay as much as $100 million each to be official sponsors during each Olympic cycle, expect organizers to protect their rights. British lawmakers (passed) a law that gives organizers the power to bar companies from using Olympic trademarks and even certain combinations of words — such as “London 2012” — that may infringe on the rights of sponsors.”

If my PR instincts are right (and they usually are), and there is sufficient evidence of people (particularly small retailers) objecting to this heavy handed protectionism by the IOC (the Sponsors will be very sensitive to negative PR now) then London could be decked again in Flags and bunting this July and so what if they toss in a few Rings. Better still a bit of Retailer Disobedience would not go amiss. By the time 10, 100, 1000 shops have Rings and things in the window, the IOC can go whistle. I am doing my bit by saying London 2012 at every possible occasion. “London 2012” “London 2012” “London 2012” “London 2012”

About JS

John Stonborough FCIPR specialises in media relations, providing an authoritative and discreet advocacy to corporate and private clients world-wide. He specialises in handling the hostile media and media regulation. He is known for observing "An interview is no time for an original thought." He is the great-nephew of the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein. His working career began as a London policeman and then as a reporter for the Daily Mail, BBC Radio 4, Thames Television and Channel 4 TV. From 2001 to 2004 he was The Media Advisor to the House of Commons Commission. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations. He is married and lives in London, England. www.stonborough.com
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