Why this Post Might Cost Me $40,000
The Games of Twenty Twelve
Any of the above phrases could land me a $40,000 fine, if Marketing Pilgrim were based in the United Kingdom. You see, the Olympics Act of 2006 specifically bans the use of terms such as:
…2012, games, gold, silver and bronze in combination except by those who are official sponsors of the Olympic Games and allows the Games’ authorities to control advertising around the venues used in the Games.
The law is so restrictive, you can’t even use "Summer 2012" in any of your advertising.
The law means that advertisers cannot use any two of the following terms together: ‘Games’, ‘Two thousand and twelve’, ‘2012’ and ‘Twenty twelve’. Neither can they use one of those terms in conjunction with any of: ‘Gold’, ‘Silver’, ‘Bronze’, ‘London’, ‘Medals’, ‘Sponsors’, ‘Summer’. Breaking the terms of the Act could result in a £20,000 fine.
This, according to Out-Law.com, is too severe and many UK advertisers have no idea of how this legislation effects them--just 14% of those polled, understand the 2006 Act.
While you can sympathize with the Olympics–after all they don’t want big companies mentioning the Olympics, when others have paid licensing fees to do so–you might want to say a prayer for the small business owners who are blissfully unaware that their next print ad might put them out of business.
P.S. Keep in mind that this is in a country where just 2 complaints can get your ad booted from TV.