It seems that, yet again, common sense has been dispensed with as a new rule designed to protect the rights of official London 2012 sponsors seems to have been extended to the general public. According to an article on Mashable visitors to the games this summer could find themselves on the wrong side of the law for posting pictures of non-sponsor brands on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.
The idea of the new rules were designed to stop firms from piggy-backing the event at the expense of ‘official’ sponsors that have paid to advertise or promote their brands to visitors to the show. I have no problem with this being implemented within Olympic venues. Many stadiums already operate on this basis on property that they own, by banning companies from promoting their products without paying for the privilege… but a blanket bans on any business using the words Olympics 2012 on any promotion seems to be madness. Stopping visitors from posting pictures or tweeting about their experiences seems plain crazy! It is also, in my opinion, unenforceable.
It’s also likely to backfire – and could result in a significant amount of negative feeling towards official sponsors from visitors, viewers and business owners in London. One of the legacies of The Games is, I thought, that it provides a boost the host country’s economy… but if nobody can mention the event for fear of ending up in court, London could be the first to have a negative impact!
Organizers have billed London ‘The First Social Media Olympics’… they might have the right to claim it, but if they implement these new rules, it’s unlikely to live up to the billing!