With just days until the opening ceremony of the world’s biggest sporting event – the London Olympics 2012, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympics Games (LOCOG) has sent out an entire force of ‘Brand Police’, looking to fine those retailers using words such as ‘London’, ‘Games’ and ‘2012’on their packaging or marketing materials.
Only the games official sponsors such as McDonalds, Coca-Cola and Cadbury’s, who have paid millions for the privilege, may use such words during the Olympic games, and if your counter bags, carrier bags, or mailing bags display any ‘forbidden’ phrases you could be in for a hefty fine.
While LOCOG released their rules on Olympic advertising some time ago, it seems many retailers underestimated just how ‘strict’ these rules are, and as a result, the demand for plain white carrier bags has soared.
It is not just retailers who need to adhere to the stringent Olympic advertising rules, even the police officers patrolling the games have been told that they “must not be seen with branded snacks” such as sandwiches, crisps and chocolate bars.
LOCOG sent a directive to all British forces involved in policing the Olympic and Paralympics games, requesting that they comply with the order to “stop unauthorised brands advertising at the Games.” As a result, officers have been told that if they want to enjoy a packet of Walker’s Salt & Vinegar they must first empty them into a clear plastic bag!
So is this taking it a bit too far? Well, it certainly looks that way. A spokesperson for LOCOG said, “There are rules about brands which are aimed around advertising but petty things like food products aren’t the target of it” and that “The rule had been put in place to stop authorised brands advertising at the Games and not to stop anyone enjoying the event.”
The solution for retailers, it seems, is plain packaging, so now is the perfect time to place your order for plain paper bags, counter bags, and plastic carrier bags, and avoid an Olympic sized fine.