London borough falls foul of Olympic law

One of the host boroughs of the 2012 London Games has been breaching Olympics copyright for the last six years, according to a report in

Tower Hamlets has been forced to withdraw a promotional poster displayed at sports centres around the borough because it uses the Olympic rings.
The violation is even more surprising because the posters – promoting the borough’s “Charter for Sport” – are such a prominent and bold reproduction of the interlocking rings. The council says that the posters have already been removed.

A council spokeswoman said: “It’s been in place for six years and it is not a campaign we have
launched since we got the Games. We are in the process of taking them down.”

Measures to prevent the unauthorised use of the rings or the word “Olympics” have been tightened since London won the 2012 bid. Locog, the London organising committee, have hired a team of lawyers to enforce the legislation. The laws, which were included in special legislation introduced last year, are intended as a legal bedrock to the drive to raise around £750 million from sponsors.

One of the main attractions for potential sponsors is the use of the Olympics rings in conjunction with a 2012 Games logo, which is currently on the drawing board.

A spokeswoman for Locog said: “This issue is keeping our lawyers busy since the Olympics Act came into effect last year. We have an obligation to make sure the law is respected. We are fair but scrupulous about enforcing this law to prevent ambush marketing. It protects the integrity of the brand and also protects the interests of the sponsors who pay for exclusive marketing rights.”

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