By the end of February, outdoor traders need to have secured permission to operate at Games-time in 27 special ‘Event Zones’, usually stretching no more than 200 metres from stadiums and sports facilities. Similarly, only advertisers which obtain approval will be able to advertise in these areas, with the deadline for public applications also being 29 February 2012.
The rules, now online, will ensure that spectators and those taking part in the Olympic and Paralympic Games can access venues easily and safely, and that the Games have a consistent look, without unauthorised marketing close to venues.
Restrictions on advertising and outdoor trading are a requirement of the contracts that host cities sign with the International Olympic Committee. They are now common practice at major international sporting events.
London 2012’s website - www.london2012.com/advertisingandtrading -
explains where the rules on advertising and outdoor trading near venues will be implemented (with a postcode checker), how they will be enforced and when they will apply – on competition days, often the day before and, in the case of the Olympic Park, a few days earlier. The website spells out the application process and criteria for authorisation, includes a detailed guide and shows examples of practices that do not require authorisation, or can only be carried out if authorisation has been obtained.
The Advertising and Trading Regulations cover all trading in open public places within ‘Event Zones’ during the periods in question - including roads and any land that the public has access to, and all forms of advertising. However a number of exceptions mean that certain forms of trading and advertising do not require authorisation.
Examples of activities where no authorisation is required are deliveries of food and newspapers, advertising on buses and taxis carrying passengers through an Event Zone, advertising inside a building, and most existing shop signage.
Authorisation has to be obtained for open air trading activities including selling from temporary buildings like marquees, busking and collecting for charity. It will also have to be obtained for advertising on billboards and poster sites, for example, but authorisation will be reserved primarily for sponsors of the Games.
Advertising that is not expected to be permitted includes advertising by non-sponsors which aim to engage in ‘ambush marketing’, such as temporary advertising, distributing direct advertising literature, and arranging for advertising ‘giveaways’ in an Event Zone.
The public application process for advertising is open until the end of February 2012, and applications can be made to the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) by email or by post.
Applications for permission to trade outdoors need to be made to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) by the same date and will shortly also be able to be made online. There is a right to ask for a review of the two organisations’ decisions by the ODA, which is a public body.
The ODA is responsible for enforcement of the Regulations and is working with 36 local authorities in England, Scotland and Wales, reflecting the Olympic events in Buckinghamshire, Dorset, Essex and Hertfordshire, cycling in Surrey, football in Cardiff, Coventry, Glasgow, Manchester and Newcastle, as well as at the Olympic and Paralympic venues in London. The ODA will designate around 200 trading standards officers and other enforcement officers who will be fully trained in the detail of the Regulations and better regulation objectives.
ODA Chief Executive Dennis Hone said: “Our aim is to make sure that spectators can get to watch the Olympic and Paralympic sport they have paid for - without delay and without risk. That means limiting for just a few weeks next summer advertising and trading in public places on roads and pavements in the busiest areas close to the venues. These are sensible regulations designed to make life easier for the public, the police, the transport system – and ultimately for legitimate traders too.”
LOCOG Chief Executive Paul Deighton said, “The regulations strike a good balance between allowing businesses near venues to trade as normal throughout the Games and what we term ambush marketing. Without our sponsors who invest huge sums of money, the Games simply wouldn’t happen and we want to protect their association with London 2012. These regulations allow us to do this in a practical and pragmatic way, whilst allowing existing businesses in the area to continue trading normally throughout the Games.”
Notes to Editor:
- 1. The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 required the Secretary of State for Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport and Ministers in Scotland and Wales to make regulations about trading and advertising in the vicinity of London Olympic events. Detailed regulations are currently being considered by the UK Parliament, the Scottish Parliament, and the National Assembly for Wales.
- 2. Contravening the Regulations is punishable by fine of up to £20,000 at Magistrates’ Courts in England and Wales, and Sheriff Courts in Scotland. There is no limit to the fine that a Crown Court may apply, however conviction would not lead to imprisonment.
- 3. No compensation will be available for people who are prevented from trading or advertising. However the ODA is empowered to offer financial assistance to ‘habitual’ traders who are not able, for instance, to site pitches in their usual places and have to seek to trade elsewhere – for instance by obtaining an additional licence to trade.
- 4. The need to secure authorisation from the ODA (for outside trading) or LOCOG (for advertising) does not replace the legal requirements that apply at all other times. Even if an authorisation has been granted by the ODA or LOCOG, traders and advertisers must ensure that they already hold, during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, any other licence, consent, certificate or permission that is necessary.
- 5. ‘Ambush marketing’ describes activities undertaken by commercial bodies not sponsoring an event which nevertheless suggest that they or their products are associated with the event or which seek to exploit the interest in the event for commercial purposes by exposing their brands to spectators at the event and/or broadcast viewers.
- 6. A full list of Event Zones where the Regulations will apply can be found in the detailed notice at www.london2012.com/documents/oda-publications/detailed-provisions-of-the-advertising-and-trading-regulations.pdf
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For further information please contact the Olympic Delivery Authority Press Office on +44 (0)203 2012 700.
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