Olympic Brand Police are Watching YOU!


Written by Bonnie Alter

In order to protect the “brand,” the Olympic Organizing Committee has ruled that no one can use the word olympic in any way during the games. By now, many have read about the poor little Olympic Cafe which had to change its name to Lympic Cafe. And the kebab shop that had to take down its sign because it had 5 rings on it.

In extreme measures, Psfk has a photo of two men seen walking past Londonís Trafalgar Square with their buttocks stamped with advertisements.

But the ban on marketing of Olympic connections for anyone who is not an official sponsor is serious. Architects, engineers and suppliers are angry because they have been unable to promote their Olympics-related work. It means that these contractors and sub-contractors will get no recognition, or benefit from their contribution to the Games because they are not allowed to use their involvement in the Olympics on any promotional material.

Olympian swimmers have been wearing Beats headphones by Dre which is not an official sponsor. The company sent British team members special versions of the Beats range branded with union flag colours. So far officials have turned a blind eye.

Graffiti is under threat too, with the possibility of some of Banksy’s works being erased as part of the sanitization campaign. However these great toaster rings, by street art collective the Toasters, are still around and causing a chuckle.

Paddy Power/Promo image

Paddy Power, the betting site, is running a spoof olympics in London, France to get around the restrictions.

thatbigeventinlondon/Promo image

Somehow these tee-shirts have missed the brand police, so get them while you can. Not only are they cheeky (another one says “It only took me three hours to get to work this morning”) but they are ethically produced by a network of women’s community groups in Malawi.

This post was originally published by TreeHugger.


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Photo: dimitridf/flickr


Stelios A.
Stelios A5 years ago

Awful image http://dingo.care2.com/pictures/causes/2967/2966533.large.jpg For what purpose?

Drusilla P.
Drusilla P5 years ago

They're completely ridiculous, and I'm still wondering why more people aren't angry about this. LOCOG has no right to bully everybody the way they do.

Thanks for the post.

Berny p.
berny p5 years ago


Prentise Wylie
pre,tpse w5 years ago

Oh, the insanity of it all! No wonder I have no interest in the Olympics -- participants getting banned for spending times with their spouses or wearing a mouth decoration with US colors -- who knows what other absurd restrictions (I've seen such reports on yahoo)... people with nothing better to do and no useful power in the world choose to oppress others just because they can. Maybe they think it is for profit, but they are certainly losers in my view.

John B.
John B5 years ago

Thanks Treehugger for posting the article by Bonnie Alter. Love the t-shirt and just might get one.

sheila h.
sheila haigh5 years ago

cont...(got cut off, something strange happened to the connection, hadn't finished yet)

@Karen and Ed O.

"And I should care about this, why?"

Well, from the title I have given above for Magdalen B's sports, only ONE word is legal. I can (still) use the word "Country", all the others are illegal. That's right, I'm committing a CRIMINAL Offence by using them. Neither can I use the words; London, Gold, Silver, Bronze, Medal, or many others, and neither can I use the colours of the rainbow - red, blue, yellow, green or black. ALL a Criminal Offence, not even a civil offence, but a Criminal Offence - a potential prison sentence.

Is that OK with you? 'Cos it sure ain't OK with me.

But I suppose once they have commandeered our language for themselves, we won't have much left to protest with, will we?

sheila h.
sheila haigh5 years ago

@Magdalen B. Sounds great fun. You could just get swamped with visitors! Lets call it the Summer 2012 Country Olympics and be damned to them.

@Karen and Ed O.

"And I should care about this, why?"

Well, how about - they've taken our jobs; they've taken our homes; they've taken our savings; they've taken our pensions, they've increased out taxes; they've made everything more expensive; they've made it more expensive to get an education; they're polluting our food for greater profits; AND NOW THEY WANT TO TAKE OUR LANGUAGE FROM US?

Danielle K.
Danielle K5 years ago

This is just ridiculous. And cities vie to host the Olympics why? Does it really benefit any city to host them? Ooops, can I say Olympics? Maybe I should say Quadrennial International Games so the organizers don't have a fit.

So much for being a sporting event where people from countries all over the world meet in friendly competition. This is now just a huge marketing event for big corporations and a way for them to stomp all over smaller companies.

Magdalen B.
Magdalen B5 years ago

At Llanwrtyd ,in the heart of Wales, they are hosting Alternative Games later this month. Among the events, there will be Wife Carrying, Bog Snorkeling, Man v Horse Racing* and Mountain Bike Chariot Racing.

*Fear not, it will be monitored by vets.

Jim Goble
James Goble5 years ago

Nebraska Wesleyan U. was told they couldn't use "Olympic" in a rat psychology event. Just once, somewhere in the USA, I'd like to see somebody fight that thing. Something tells me they would win, because "Olympic" is a lot older than the United States, and, as a general rule, words in ordinary use cannot be copyrighted.