In response to a consultation on advertising and trading regulation for the 2012 Games, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport says that “pursuing those who stand to benefit most” from ambush marketing “including company directors” would be a “powerful deterrent”.
The DCMS adds that individuals will have to prove “that they had no knowledge of activity or they took reasonable steps to prevent it happening” to avoid liability for ambush marketing.
The Government wants to protect the £700m investment made by domestic Olympic sponsors such as BT, British Airways and Lloyds Banking Group from rival brands using stunts and surreptitious tactics to advertise at or near to Games’ venues.
An amendment to the 2006 Olympic Act, which includes the new regulations, is in the final stages of parliamentary approval and is expected to pass before the end of the year.
Read Marketing Week’s feature on why Olympic sponsors run the risk of ambush.