Paddy Power Olympic ambush avoids ban

Olympic chiefs have dropped their attempts to have Paddy Power’s outdoor ambush marketing campaign removed from sites around London, but have vowed to “closely monitor the situation.”

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The bookmaker claimed Locog had instructed outdoor media owner JCDecaux to take down billboards promoting the Paddy Power Egg-and-Spoon Race in London, France earlier this week (24 July).

Organisers had originally deemed that the adverts breached sponsors exclusivity rights to the London 2012 Games for using the words “Official Sponsor”, “Athletics” and “London” together in an ad. Adverts have also appeared in newspapers including Metro and City AM.

Paddy Power had called in lawyers to defend the campaign, threatening to seek a court order at the high-court to stop the campaign from being banned.

A spokesman for Locog says that no action would be taken after reviewing the adverts.

He adds: “LOCOG has raised its concerns with Paddy Power and decided not to pursue the matter any further at this stage. However, we will continue to monitor the situation.”

Under the 2006 London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act, Locog has the power to prevent unauthorised assocations with the sporting event. It also created a list of words, which cannot be used in combination by non-sponsors. Paddy Power’s outdoor advert says: ‘Official sponsor of the largest athletics event in London this year! There you go, we said it.”

The adverts, which are part of the bookmaker’s ‘We Hear You’ campaign, are the latest in a string of controversial stunts. Last month, it ambushed the European Championships when Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner revealed a pair of Paddy Power branded underpants when he scored.

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