Locog polices easyJet’s Sally Gunnell photo shoot

The London Olympics organiser policed an easyJet event featuring champion athlete Sally Gunnell to prevent any ambush marketing and abuse of the Olympic brand and associated imagery.

Champion athlete Sally Gunnell in easyJet ad
Champion athlete Sally Gunnell in easyJet ad

EasyJet set up a photo shoot with Gunnell earlier this week to support the announcement of flights from London Southend airport next April.

Gunnell, who won the 400 m hurdles in 1992 is from the county and was drafted in “to inspire local schoolchildren”, says the airline.

The airline confirmed that the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Locog) monitored the photo shoot.

A spokesperson adds that easyJet and Locog discussed various activities planned by the budget airline featuring Gunnell ahead of the event and some were changed.

It appears that at the event Gunnell was asked to remove a white easyJet-branded track suit top and this was replaced with an orange T-shirt.

It’s also suggested that the Locog monitor stepped in when Gunnell began lifting a Union Jack, in case the iconic shot of her Olympic win with the flag was re-staged.

EasyJet would not comment on what actions were taken at the photo shoot except to say: “We decided that the T-shirt was more appropriate.”

EasyJet had already attracted Locog’s attention when it was quoted in The Sun last month as saying that London Southend airport would be “a gateway to the 2012 Olympics”. However, the airline says it was misquoted.

The official airline sponsor for London 2012 is British Airways, which revealed an aircraft with the message “One Year To Go” written on its underside this week. Olympian Denise Lewis unveiled the aircraft.

An easyJet spokesperson says that it invited Locog to attend its event and adds: “We are willing to work with Locog to ensure we don’t break any regulations.”

At time of writing the Locog press office said it could not confirm the attendance of a monitor.

The opening ceremony for the Olympics is now one year away.

Read Marketing Week’s feature on brands and the Paralympics here

easyJet launches Southend routes with Sally Gunnell

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