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The IOC's 'Clean Venue' Policy 549

Posted by michael
from the consume dept.
Dave21212 writes "Yes folks, the International Olympic Committee's 'Brand Protection Team' will be protecting against the threat of Advertising Terrorism at the games. According to an MSNBC article, the IOC's Karen Webb states 'Our role is to protect all of our sponsor categories and actively monitor ambush activity.' Restricted items include, flags, umbrellas, shirts, hats, and bags with trademarks of rival sponsors. Unofficial brands can be confiscated and with only Coke allowed on Olympic grounds, this brings new meaning to The Pepsi Challenge!"
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The IOC's 'Clean Venue' Policy

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  • by o0zi (652605) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:17PM (#10037936) Homepage
    Did anyone besides me notice that all the gymnasts who had their own bottles with them had had the labels taken off? It seems a little overkill for "advertising terrorism"...
    • by MikeXpop (614167) <mike&redcrowbar,com> on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:23PM (#10037984) Journal
      That happens everywhere, and I mean _everywhere_.

      A few years back I used to watch professional wrestling, and there was a wrestler named Triple H. Anyway, when he came on stage, he would take a swig of water and spray it in the air. The water bottle always had its label taken off. Anyway, one time he came out with a labelled water bottle. It was in New York, and green, so I instantly recognized it as Poland Springs. However when they zoomed in on him, the bottle was blurred. I thought that was kind of funny.

      I guess they didn't want to be accused of supporting one water company over another or something. But this doesn't just happen in the Olympics.
      • by randyest (589159) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:32PM (#10038032) Homepage
        Did they do the same to members of that audience? If not, this is worse.

        From TFA: We have to protect official sponsors who have paid millions to make the Olympics happen.

        Silly me. I thought it was the that made the Olympics happen.

        But that's only true if you think the competition is more important than the fancy pre-shows and fireworks. I guess now it's reversed -- the competitions are ancillary, the sponsors and ads are the main event now.

        Which is why I don't watch it. My wife does. But she's not as jaded as I am (yet.)
        • by Aardpig (622459) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:19PM (#10038290)

          Silly me. I thought it was the [athelets] that made the Olympics happen.

          No, the atheletes are only there to draw in a large crowd of consumers on behalf of the advertisers.

          • Large crowds? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by PatHMV (701344) <post@patrickmartin.com> on Sunday August 22, 2004 @02:42PM (#10038707) Homepage
            Maybe all the stadiums are empty because all the spectators were turned away for wearing Polo(TM) shirts?

            I mean, really. As a more-or-less private entity, the IOC cand do whatever it wants in terms of allowing people into venues, etc. But they have turned the whole spectacle into little more than a giant advertising venue, and that has made me lose interest in the whole deal. I saw it really start to go wrong back with the flap over whether some of the original US Dream Team could wear Reebok clothes (who sponsored those athletes) or would be forced to wear Nike jumpsuits (who sponsored the Olympics). The more the IOC does this, the fewer people will be willing to turn out and attend.
        • by Kaiwen (123401) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @03:45PM (#10039007) Journal
          The IOC doesn't restrict its censorship to corporate interests -- it also meddles in the political sphere. Amidst all the flag-waving you see going on -- US flags, Russian flags, Greek flags, Chinese flags, flags from every country with representatives in the games -- there is one flag you WON'T see -- Taiwan's. Why? Because it makes Beijing unhappy. At the Atlanta games -- smack in the middle of the "Land of the Free" -- three friends of mine were removed for displaying a Taiwanese flag at an event in which Taiwanese athletes were competing. This year, while watching, for example, the archery competition (the only event in which Taiwan medaled), Taiwanese spectators were waving IOC-issued flags to replace the Taiwanese flags they had brought. The IOC is not merely a corporate puppet -- it's a political lackey as well. Lee Kaiwen, Taiwan
      • Just wait. In the next Olympics, they'll decide that an unlabelled bottle is also a terrorist threat. They'll require that anyone with such a bottle (or article of clothing) affix a logo from an official Olympic sponsor.

        And in the 2012 Olympics, they'll require that you buy the logos.

        --
        7 people have sent me Gmail invites. Ralph won, and will be recieving my soul. Thank you to all who played.


        Hmmm ... I sometimes wonder if I should ask for one of the leftovers. I wonder how many people collect email a
    • In high school I swam on the men's swim team. Yeah not really a crowd puller. But we had to black out the SPEEDO on our goggle straps at meets. The officials all enforced it too. If they saw a logo you were DQed right there on the starting blocks. Given that for every meet except for state champs the only people watching were parents and girl-friends, and yet they enforced this, it dosen't surprise me that the olympics manages to take it just as seriously. (But I still find it rediculous)
  • Frightening (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:18PM (#10037943) Homepage
    So, I didn't RTFA of course, but from the story blurb it makes it sound like if you wear something like an Adidas shirt for example, and Nike is a sponsor and Adidas is not, they will confiscate it. Frankly, I would flat out refuse. This is so ridiculous and is a perfect example of where our culture is going.

    Now, fast forward 10 years and imagine that SWAT-like team practicing on the stadium, but instead of looking for actual terrorist threats, they're looking for banned advertising. Think I'm joking? Well, just accellerate current corporate greed and how much power corporations wield, and I think I'm pretty close to the truth.

    • Oh, just wait until we get our equivalent of the Shiawase Decision.

      (I hope that wasn't too obscure...)
    • Re:Frightening (Score:3, Insightful)

      by wideBlueSkies (618979) *
      So I guess that if in 2012 when I'm attending the 'Microsoft Olympics' in New York City, if I wear my Red Hat Baseball cap, I can expect someone from the NYC Police "atlas squad" (antiterrorism special force) to blow my head off.

      Great..

    • Re:Frightening (Score:5, Insightful)

      by kfg (145172) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:37PM (#10038060)
      Of course the problem comes in the fact that many of the athletes rely on personal sponsors to compete at all; and if you're sponsored by Adidas but have to wear a Nike shirt or no shirt at all, well, you go without the Adidas money you need to train and compete because there's nothing in the deal for Adidas.

      The organizers end up with all the loot, the competitors themselves are left out in the cold.

      This a big deal in NASCAR right now, what with Coke sponsoring events and cars sponsored by Pepsi winning races and vice versa.

      It's a fucking mess.

      KFG
      • Re:Frightening (Score:4, Informative)

        by bstone (145356) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:57PM (#10038467)
        What really frosts me about these sponsorship wars is when the sponsors are allowed to pay to keep me from using competing products. I can see VISA paying to be the Olympic sponsor, and getting the resulting publicity, but when they can pay places to NOT take my credit card, it crosses a line.

        Personally, I have a "token" VISA card which is ONLY used when I end up at one of their "purchased" venues (accidentally), and NEVER used anywhere else.

        The fact that they're proud of making these deals ("be sure to bring your VISA card because you can't use American Express"), knowing that they have paid to force me to carry extra credit cards with me, especially in these times of identity theft and credit card fraud where I'd much rather just carry one card and watch it closely, seems to me like it should be illegal.
    • Re:Frightening (Score:5, Interesting)

      by linuxtelephony (141049) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:43PM (#10038093) Homepage
      I lived in Atlanta in 1992, 4 years before the 1996 Olympics there. The IOC was going around nailing anybody with ANYTHING remotely like "Olympic" in their company name or product. One example, Olympian Pools, or something like that.

      That, combined with all of the corruption (remember the fall out from Utah and Japan not too long ago), and the flat-out censorship of participants (athletes are not able to keep blogs, and somewhere I think they were restricted from writing their personal experiences even after the games, if the IOC doesn't get its cut), not to mention the many other layers of crap reported earlier here on /., are all reasons why I don't even bother tuning in.

      I stopped watching, paying attention, or even caring about the Olympics after I saw what they did in Atlanta.

      Judging by the dismal ticket sales, perhaps this is a growing trend.
    • > if you wear something like an Adidas shirt for
      > example, and Nike is a sponsor and Adidas is not,
      > they will confiscate it. Frankly, I would flat out refuse.

      Don't! Just give them the rest of your clothes too. If you are not allowed to wear clothes made by Adidas, why should you be allowed to wear clothes you got at the Old Navy, or Target, or Salvation Army? Those companies probably did not contribute to the Olympics either. The only safe way is going in your birthday suit, which is the only thi
    • Re:Frightening (Score:5, Insightful)

      by scotch (102596) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @02:12PM (#10038538) Homepage
      if you wear something like an Adidas shirt for example, and Nike is a sponsor and Adidas is not, they will confiscate it. Frankly, I would flat out refuse. This is so ridiculous and is a perfect example of where our culture is going.

      An even better example of where our culture is going is the fact that you think it's perfectly reasonable to pay money to wear clothing which has the very dominant feature of being an advertising device for the company making that clothing. So you've chosen to be a voluntary addidas billboard rather than a nike billboard, and you're upset that consumerism dominates our society to the extent that events, like clothes, are mere advertising opportunities, and as such are controlled by the advertisers?

  • by FyRE666 (263011) * on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:18PM (#10037944) Homepage
    Is anyone else deliberately NOT watcing the Olympics in light of this corporate assholery? I'm in the UK, where we're not being censored, but I'm not going to encourage the corporate ad campaign that's masquerading as a sports event by tuning in.

    The funny thing is, that previous stories posted here about China's restrictions, firewalling off any sites promoting freedom of speech etc have evoked harsh criticism of the regime. This is no different though, except the control isn't in the hands of a political party, but a few greedy corporations.

    I can't believe that after charging people to come and watch the games, they're now telling them what to eat, drink, wear and think while there. I'd ask for my money back; no actually I'd ask for payment for them employing me as some fucking walking advert.

    No wonder attendance is only just hovering above 50% this year, even though it's in Athens. Seems like people don't like "controlled fun"... Funny that...
    • by christurkel (520220) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:23PM (#10037981) Homepage Journal
      The corporations the the big networks have sucked all the joy of the Olympics. I can't watch them. Its like an informercial with breaks for sporting invites; its insane and out of control.

      The costs of putting on the Olympics have increased so much that only the largest cities can afford to host them then only with massive corporate sponsorship. Disgusting and sad.
    • by John Jorsett (171560) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:30PM (#10038023)
      Don't blame corporations for doing what they're programmed in their very DNA to do: turn a profit. Blame the Olympics for whoring themselves out for the corporate dollars. If you recall, the IOC had two members who took over $1 million to bring the 2002 games to Salt Lake City. Would it be a surprise if that's just the tip of the iceberg, and that there's major bribery of IOC members taking place on a continual basis? Corporations may be the johns, but it's the Olympics who's the streetwalker.
      • Blockquoth the poster:

        Don't blame corporations for doing what they're programmed in their very DNA to do: turn a profit.

        Last I checked, corporations were run by human beings. (Isn't that always the trope rolled out to counter attacks on "corporatism"?). And humans have this amazing thing called "a mind" that allows them to -- believe it or not -- choose. Specifically, they can choose not to follow the siren call of their "prgrammed DNA"; they actually be ethical.

        I certainly do blame corporations for

      • Hear hear! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by snarkasaurus (627205) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @03:21PM (#10038910)
        Finally, a realistic response! Whose event is it? The IOC's! Who gets to decide which advertising contract to sign? They do!

        Did they -have- to offer the current Gestapo-esque logo placement to Coke? No! They could have said "Piss off, its a free country and the athletes can have Pepsi on the field if they want."

        That they did not do that should tell you a great deal about the IOC and the people who run it. In fact they probably suggested it to Coke, not the other way around.

        Coke is an American company. Does Coke really want to be associated with police state tactics, particularly at the Olympics? I think not.

        As far as the IOC is concerned the athletes have no rights. They exist for the sole purpose of enriching the IOC and its contituent gratuity seeking, slime mold apparatchiks. These people don't walk, they glide on an extruded layer of mucous.

        What political system is that kind of thing most closely identified with? Give you a hint, it starts with an "S", ends with "ocialism".

        I bet the North Korean and Chinese teams feel right at home.
    • >Is anyone else deliberately NOT watcing the Olympics in light of this corporate assholery?

      If this is enough reason to convince you not to watch the Olympics, you clearly had little desire to watch in the first place. These are the best athletes of today, and being an athlete myself, I don't see how you could not watch them compete.

      >No wonder attendance is only just hovering above 50% this year, even though it's in Athens. Seems like people don't like "controlled fun"... Funny that...

      You're out

  • Shouldn't the games be about that stuff instead of selling out to the sponsors? Oh, wait, this is the real world, where even world politics is part of the games-one of the latest was the Iranian incident.
  • What I didn't get from the article is whether or not this applies only to employees/volunteers or if it extends to the spectators, as well. If I show up with a vintage 1986 Spuds MacKenzie t-shirt and the official beer of the games is Rolling Rock, do I get tossed? Subjected to "additional security measures"? Or do they just not care?

    If the latter, could someone loosen my tin foil a bit?
  • by Mr. Neutron (3115) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:20PM (#10037952) Homepage Journal
    advertising fascism?

    To their credit, they are hardly the first governing body to respond to the spectre of terrorism with a crackdown on civil liberties ;-).
  • Rats (Score:5, Funny)

    by tirefire (724526) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:20PM (#10037957)
    Now I can't wear my Al-Qaeda baseball cap.
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:20PM (#10037958) Homepage Journal
    This insanity needs to be stopped.

    First they spend 1.5 Billion to invasively spy on EVERYONE there...

    Then athletes cant talk about the games, or take pictures.. For fear of not getting their take of the revenue..

    Now fans cant even choose what food they eat, unless its a 'sponsored' product?

    The entire Olympic games have become a commercialized farce, and needs to be disbanded.

    Its a mockery of what it should be about: athletes competing for the title of 'best'. Nothing more, nothing less.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:20PM (#10037960)
    Some major atheletes (like Kim Clijsters) don't go to the olympics because their contract with other sponsors (Fila in her case) doesn't allow so.
  • The Olympics have always been heavily commercialized; Making that a little (well ok, a lot) more exclusive doesn't really change much. Would a sponsor-free Olympics really be any better? Could it even happen?
    • It could happen in 2008 in Beijing, if China feels like doing things that way. A few years ago there was talk about the IOC not wanting the USA to host the Olympics as much because they relied too much on corporate sponsorship whenever they were held in the US. They wanted the host nation government to pay more of the expenses rather than have advertising on every available surface. Since China doesn't care about making money nearly as much as they care about showing off to the world, they could put on
  • this is stupid (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ravenrage (739755)
    I am so sick of people using the "terrorism" tag to do what ever they want....are we sure that gwbIII isn't involved with the Olympics???...
    plz i mean "Advertising Terrorism"???....total horseshit...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:21PM (#10037970)
    From the IOC website:
    MISSIONS

    What is the goal of the Olympic Movement?

    According to the Olympic Charter, established by Pierre de Coubertin, the goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practised without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.
    I think it's long overdue for a rewrite.
    • by Registered Coward v2 (447531) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:31PM (#10038025)
      What is the goal of the Olympic Movement?

      According to the Olympic Charter, established by Pierre de Coubertin, the goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to building a peaceful and better world by educating youth through sport practised without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.


      According to the Olympic Charter (rev 1), established by Major Sponsors, the goal of the Olympic Movement is to contribute to corporate profits peaceful and better brand recognition by advertising to youth through sport practised without competitors images of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires major contributions with a spirit of exclusivity, frequent advertisments and no fair use.

    • by Esion Modnar (632431) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:31PM (#10038026)
      without discrimination of any kind

      Yeah, unless you're wearing a Pepsi shirt...

      I, for one, welcome our new corporate overlords. No, wait... no i don't.

  • by John Jorsett (171560) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:22PM (#10037974)
    Is it me or are the Olympics taking on the tone of a totalitarian regime? If the restrictions on the athletes (no blogs, no 'unapproved' products, etc.) were being imposed by a government, there'd be an outcry. Because a non-governmental entity is doing it, it's ok?
    • by perrin (891) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:41PM (#10038088)
      That is not so surprising when you consider who runs the show. the previous and long-time IOC president, Samaranch, was a fascist. I don't just mean that as en call-name. He was a member of fascist organizations for 40 years, was an ardent supporter of Franco and was appointed government secretary for sports under Franco's fascist dictatorship.

      The IOC is not democratic nor accountable to anyone, and have always operated in a totally autocratic manner.

      (An a less important but symbolic aside: The torch-carrying tradition was invented by Nazi Germany, who used the games held in Germany 1936 as a huge propaganda event.)

      The games have also been connected to commercial interest since the start. For example, the games in 1900 and 1904 were both side-by-side with large trade fairs.
      • by swb (14022) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @03:51PM (#10039035)
        That is not so surprising when you consider who runs the show.

        It's not just Samaranch that's the problem. A lot of the members of the IOC are from countries where totalitarian decision making is the norm, so it's not surprising that the Olympics takes on a totalitarian flavor.

        Add that in with corporate interests who think that fascist laws that enforce their monopolies are a good thing, and IOC members who think about graft first, sports last, and you get a pretty scary/accurate portrait of the world we live in now.
    • by LostCluster (625375) * on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:57PM (#10038176)
      Most athletes are used to it. They've always had to obey rules given down to them by their leagues about what they're allowed to wear during competition, and they're also used to having clauses in personal endorcement deals that say they can't be seen in public consuming/using a competitor's product. If an athlete doesn't like those rules, they can just sit out. We're already seeing several noteworthy NBA players refuse to take part in the Olympic basketball competition, and NBA team owner Mark Cuban is suggesting that players on his team stay out because of the risk that an injury that happens in those games that they'd have to play for free might impact their ability to play in the games they're being paid for.
  • My Rights Online (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kohath (38547) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:22PM (#10037977)
    I hope this doesn't infringe my rights online somehow.
  • by Al Dimond (792444)
    Can these people not tell the difference between someone just wearing a shirt and a corporate-sponsored ambush? Telling people that they can't eat "restricted" sandwiches or drink a frappe sounds more like the spirit of Stalin than that of the Olympics.
  • Is anybody making money on these games anymore? I haven't looked at the economics of it but, from an entertainment industry perspective, it seems to be a fear game. 'We must pay whatever it costs for the olympics because we always have.' Same with the advertisers. As far as I can tell, these games are a flop from the profit point of view. Everybody's losing.
    What I'm thinking is, now that there's a world class venue in athens, start a new sanctioning body and a better run set of games that happen in g
  • by davidfromoz (801492) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:25PM (#10037992) Homepage Journal
    Dear Slashdot,

    I draw your attention to the inappropriate use of the words "Olympic" and "Pepsi" in the same article. Please remove this document immediately or you will be hearing from our lawyers.

    Jacques
  • My Fear (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bruha (412869) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:25PM (#10037997) Homepage Journal
    Is that this may spread to other venues, cant wear a metallica tshirt to ozzfest.

    Cant attend a sporting event with the same rules even going as far as saying you cant wear a hockey jersey to football game.

    How long will it be until a corporation begins to fund roads or parks and have security banning other advertisers.

    It's bad enough I cant watch the superior coverage of the olympics legaly here in the USA due to similar contracts. Though I wonder how the advertisers would feel if people began to boycot them becuase one tv station banned them from consumer choice of BBC's olympics vs MicroSoft NBC Olympics.
    • Re:My Fear (Score:3, Insightful)

      by FFFish (7567)
      You think this isn't happening already?

      There are two types of border in this world: political and corporate. The two are becoming ever closer to one.

      Within our generation I anticipate that your legal rights and responsibilities will be defined by the Venn intersection of the corporate influences in your physical location.

      Coca-Cola will own the territory of Vancouver, for instance. City council will be paid to pass law that makes possession of Pepsi illegal. You will not be able to purchase nor import
  • by daveschroeder (516195) * on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:26PM (#10038002)
    More information:

    "Advertisers try vaulting over the official games marketers"
    http://www.nypost.com/business/18669.htm [nypost.com] In 1996, Nike was the Cinderella of the Atlanta Olympics. Not invited to the ball, it made sure the shoe fit anyway.

    The sneaker maker handed out swoosh-branded "Just Do It" signs, erected billboards and even built a makeshift sports complex -- leaving the patriotic impression that it was an official Olympic sponsor.

    It wasn't. Archrival Reebok shelled out millions for bona fide sponsorship status. Nike glommed onto Olympic glory in a money-saving ploy known as ambush marketing.

    "For pennies on the dollar, relative to the top sponsors, ambush marketing can be cost effective," said sports marketing expert David Carter. "Many consumers end up rather confused as to who the official Olympic sponsors are."


    For what it's worth, from http://www.libertypost.org/cgi-bin/readart.cgi?Art Num=61113 [libertypost.org]:

    Known as the "clean venue policy", the rules were drawn up by the Greeks and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to shield sponsors from so-called "ambush marketing" -- an attempt to advertise items during the games without paying sponsorship fees.

    The restrictions on food and drink are intended to ensure that only items made by official sponsors such as McDonald's and two Greek dairy firms are consumed at Olympic venues.

    An official familiar with the restrictions said: "We have to protect official sponsors who have paid millions to make the Olympics happen. There will be cases of individual spectators being allowed in wearing a T-shirt bearing the logo of a rival sports brand but anyone who tries to practise ambush marketing will be removed."


    And the actual list:
    http://www.athens2004.com/en/specAdviceRestricted [athens2004.com]

    The following items and actions are restricted at Olympic Venues:

    Mopeds, bicycles, skates, skateboards

    Electronic equipment of Non-Rights holding Broadcasting Organisations

    Flags of non-participating countries. Flags of participating countries larger than 2x1 meters, banners (larger than 1x1 meters approximately). No banner may be hung in metallic, wooden or plastic poles or frames

    Horns, laser devices and other devices that cause disturbance

    Flag poles, logos, open umbrellas in seating areas, items (T-shirts, hats, bags, etc.) with distinctive trademarks of companies that are competitive to those of the sponsors

    Pirate "Athens 2004" products

    Leaflets, pamphlets, non-approved publications, unauthorised signs and labels, printed material for publishing purposes with religious, political, provocative or obscene content

    Balls, rackets, Frisbees, and similar items, a large number of coins, lighters

    Musical instruments, glass bottles, flasks, iceboxes, ice-bags, thermos, water, beverages, alcoholic drinks and material, in general, of any shape or content, or any other items that ATHOC in cooperation with the Security Authorities in charge, consider to be dangerous or inappropriate

    Food (except for proven medical reasons)

    Animals (except service animals)

    Large items, large bags, suitcases, folding seats, small stools etc. (except in certain events)

    Strollers in seating areas

    Smoking or gambling

    Collection of money for unauthorised purposes

    Use or distribution of clothing and/or any type of material with the intent of advertising, promotion, raising money or making profit through unauthorised means

    Ambush marketing

    Demonstrations of a political or religious nature

    Unauthorised ticket sales

    Unauthorised sale of food

    Unauthorised entry of TV presenters and unauthorised transmission and/or videotaping through transmi

    • by Fortyseven (240736) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:21PM (#10038294) Homepage Journal
      Prohibited items: Guns, explosive materials, chemical or incendiary mechanisms, tear gas, smoke bombs, knives, narcotic or other illegal substances, fireworks, firecrackers, poles, bats and in general items that may cause physical damage, even if they are legally possessed.

      Well there you go. And they spent like, what, a billion dollars on security? And for what? There was a rule against bringing in things terrorists would use all along. Sounds like conspiracy!
    • From the 'banned' list

      iceboxes, ice-bags, thermos, water, beverages
      a large number of coins

      1: Make visitors sit in 30-degree-plus temperatures for hours on end.
      2: Force them to buy overpriced official Olympic-brand bottled water or equally overpriced Coke.
      3: Confiscate their change.
      4: Profit!!!

    • The restrictions on food and drink are intended to ensure that only items made by official sponsors such as McDonald's and two Greek dairy firms are consumed at Olympic venues.

      ROTFL. So whilst the worlds top atheletes in the peak of human fitness compete, the audience is forced to eat McDonalds? Oh the irony...

      Phillip.
  • by randyest (589159) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:26PM (#10038003) Homepage
    "These tactics cut to the heart of the commercial viability of the Games, and represents one of their single biggest threats. Without guaranteeing exclusivity, it is harder to play competitive sponsors off against each other."

    While worrying about "brand impurity" cutting to the "heart" of "commercial viability," they seem to have forgotten about the soul of the games.

    Which is understandable, since to the promoters and "marketing protection squads," the games ceased long ago to be anything other than a way to make lots of profits.

    When it becomes so bad that the majority of participants and spectators don't want to play a role in these little marketing games, it'll be too late. And that day is getting closer.
  • Fully justified (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Aphelion (13231) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:29PM (#10038016) Homepage
    From the article:

    Nike's ambush of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics is still seen as the ambush of all ambushes. Saving the US$ 50 million that an official sponsorship would have cost, Nike plastered the city in billboards, handed out swoosh banners to wave at the competitions and erected an enormous Nike center overlooking the stadium. The tactics devastated the International Olympic Committee's credibility and spooked other organizations such as FIFA into adopting more assertive anti-ambushing strategies.

    The article goes on to mention how Nike has never sponsored an entire event, and admits to "coming from a different angle" by sponsoring teams, press conferences even individual players. It's too bad that it has nothing specific to say about the Pepsi/Coca-Cola relationship.
  • by mqx (792882) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:35PM (#10038047)

    2000: Qantas Airlines' slogan "Spirit of Australia" coincidentally sounds like games slogan "Share the spirit" to chagrin of official sponsor Ansett Air

    Anyone who has lived in Australia can tell you that Qantas has used "Spirit of Australia" as an advertising slogan for at least 20 years or more. Not only that, but Qantas is one of those "grand old lady" organisations who don't stoop to any type of advertising/marketing "tricks". The reporter has actually made a mistake with this choice of example, because if anything, it would be Ansett with the wrongdoing here.

  • by LostCluster (625375) * on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:42PM (#10038089)
    This is just like an amusement park that can control what they're going to let through their gates, even while charging $25 a person going through. The IOC is renting every olympic venue, so they get to set the rules as to what goes on there. If you don't like the rules, don't buy a ticket and don't go in the venues...

    What it boils down to is the fact that the Olympics have lost their glow as a world gathering and now are just plain one big international TV game show production...
    • by t_allardyce (48447) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:59PM (#10038185) Journal
      The point is the Olympic games are supposed to be some great tradition, the IOC is always going on about the "purity" of the Olympic name being lost when magazines with topless athletes come out but really they are screwing with the Olympics themselves. No-one asked for the games to be commercialised and the grounds to suddenly become the most lavish expensive fireworks show ever, sure it costs money to do but it could have been cheaper - what it amounts to is would you rather have the super-tastic Olympics with no expense spared but with fascist security guards enforcing dress code or would you rather have a simpler less expensive games where it really is about the games and not coke? Its not their property to sell off. The people wernt given any say, and i really cant help thinking that someone is making a hell of a lot of money off this.

  • by foobsr (693224) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:51PM (#10038140) Homepage Journal
    ..., e.g. Olympics [pepsi.com] ???

    Not that I drink a lot of any CSD, but ...+

    CC.
  • by irf (785296) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:01PM (#10038196)
    maybe it's high time that the Olympics should be dumped. it has lost all it's meaning, it's all about blood sucking these days. the athletes and the public are the ones whose blood is been sucked. over the years my interest in this event is dwindling, to the point where i do not have the stomach to watch any of the events in the current one. is there an Olympic? well i couldn't care less. sorry if any one was offended.
  • by avel599 (413285) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:13PM (#10038258)
    This is nothing new to us Greeks who watch the whole thing closely here in Athens.

    Friends of mine who work at Olympic-related services are not allowed to bring to work a bag of food that has the name of a rival company of McDonalds. They are instructed by security officers to use simple white bags without these logos!

    People who go at the games are not allowed to bring cell phones or coins with them, for the sake of "safety". Also they are not allowed to wear something that bears a trademark of a company that is a competitor to the official sponsors.

    All the non-olympic-sponsors ads at the Metro have been taken off. Similarly for ads on important roads and avenues, especially the ones where there are venues such as the Marathon and the street cycling.

    Yes, it's crazy alright, together with the whole story about the linking policy to the Athens 2004 Web site which was mentioned in a previous story, which reminded me of something that happened sometime a year ago. Some kids in an hi-school made a web site about the Olympics. Their mistake? They used the official "Athens 2004(TM)" logo, which the Organizing Committee had said that they will "defend" it at all costs. Well, they took those kids' web site down, because of unauthorized trademark use.

    "Olympic Spirit...

    However, let me add that the atmosphere here in Athens is FWIW pretty damn good. Even though most of the people are on vacation, as it happens in every August in this city, (and because of that the traffic is very light and it takes me 15' - 20' to get to work instead of the ususal 30'-45'), the happenings in every corner of the city, the visitors of every nation and culture, and the games themselves give the city a very nice atmosphere. Together with all the road works and all that have finally finished, it feels like a much better and humane city... even though we are going to pay for it for a lot of years to come... :-|
  • by lorcha (464930) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:29PM (#10038337)
    I think paragon_au was just trying to get a little attention with that Advertising Terrorism bit. I grepped for "terror" in all the linked articles and did not find it. So where did you come up with that?

    Methinks paragon_au just put that in there to get a rise out of knee-jerk, I didn't RTFA slashdotters. No one "official" ever used the term Advertising Terrorism.

  • by wardk (3037) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:59PM (#10038480) Journal
    Cause it's the official operating policy of the Olympic games

    When Seattle was looking into the Olympics it became know that many business would be "forced" to give up their name due to the use of Olympic. We've got a fucking Olympic Mountain Range these are named after. But no less, they would be forced to change, by local and state gov't edict.

    We never got far enough along to determine if the mountain range would have to be renamed, perhaps they would just blot it out when doing panarama's of Seattle, sounds like it would be considered a terrorist mountainrange.

    I supect a few well placed bribes could have mitigated the situation, perhaps a few IOC kids could get free rides to the UW.

    perhaps it's time for the olympics to die again for a thousand or so years.
  • by stubear (130454) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @02:21PM (#10038584)
    Typical day on /.:

    "Hey, keep your damn ads off the web."
    "Damn corporations are everywhere. Get the hell out of here, kill them all."
    "What right do corporations have to commercial speech?"

    ---------------------
    For one day only on /.:

    "Hey, what right does the IOC have infringing the rights of coroprations to freely advertise?"

    Am I the only one who sees the irony here?
  • by WormholeFiend (674934) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @02:31PM (#10038644)
    will want to attend these types of events with t-shirts bearing only one letter, and arrange themselves linearly according to whatever they want to say.
  • Ah... (Score:3, Funny)

    by alexandre (53) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @03:06PM (#10038841) Homepage Journal
    the olympics, that great world symbol of peace and ... capitalism! :)
  • by FleaPlus (6935) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @03:53PM (#10039050) Journal
    As some of you already know, recently an online casino, GoldenPalace.com, put up money to fund the da Vinci project's [davinciproject.com] X-Prize attempt. The project is now known as "The Golden Palace.Com Space Program". It seems that a couple days ago, GoldenPalace.com had some more publicity, with a man in a tutu, with "Golden Palace.com" written across his chest, jumping into the pool during an Olympic diving final [msn.com].

    BBC article link [bbc.co.uk].
  • by Samurai Cat! (15315) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @04:10PM (#10039146) Homepage
    This is just the latest moronic move made by the IOC and/or the individual city Olympic committees.

    I remember, in the roll-up to the '96 games in Atlanta (where I used to live), the local OC started going after companies that had the word "olympic" in the name. The best one was a car garage that had been around for decades - I forget the entire name but the main word in the garage's name was "Olympic". Absolutely nothing to do with sports - it was a repair shop! - but they were jacked over and (IIRC) forced to change the name they'd done business under for years - about as long as the head of the local OC had been *alive*.

    Yaaaaaaaayyyy, CAPITALISM! :/
  • by syberanarchy (683968) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @07:55PM (#10040240) Journal
    It's a problem that the IOC is actually ejecting ticketholders for simply "partnering" with the wrong company.

    However, it's a bigger problem that monoliths can actually look at dropping millions for product placement as a good investment.

    Stories like this make me feel like I'm living in a fucking loony box, and the inmates have taken over - who the fuck really eats at MCD's because of this "I'm lovin it" shit? Who the hell really felt a little tingle up their spine when they saw the "our best is serving the world's best" ads? If you raised your hand, please, shoot yourself.

    The most amazing thing about advertising is that it actually works. I didn't buy an ipod because 50 Cent had one in one of his shitty videos. I bought an ipod because of the word of mouth endorsements from *gasp* private individuals.

    Likewise, I'd like to know how many people are really going to buy Nike, now that they are the "official" sponsors. It's not like the horde of 10 year olds that wanted Air Jordans because MJ had em. I, for one, couldn't give a flying fuck what Michelle Kwan wears. It's not that "consumers are confused" as to who the Olympic bribe...er..."sponsors" are, it's that they simply don't give a shit.

    In the end, the joke is on the corporations - at least, on the apparel side of things. I couldn't care less about athletes, but I can at least name the more prominent ones. I know who Kobe Bryant is, I know who A-Rod is, I know who Michael Vick is. I would suggest that the average person, the type of mindless fuck who would buy something based on what he/she saw on TV, can't name 10 Olympians. I can name Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding for all the wrong reasons. I can name Michelle Kwan because she was the Asian eye candy of choice elevated by the powers-that-be. I can name Kurt Angle because of his WWE deal.

    Now, here's an even bigger challenge for the average person - name 10 Olympians involved with THIS Olympiad. The average person can't. That kind of hurts MJ-style endorsement deals, based upon the will to emulate the athlete, when you don't even know who the fuck the athlete is!

    Still, it's disgusting to know that even one person has changed their preference from Burger King to MCD's, based upon the Olympic marketing. It's sad that someone, somewhere, will go out of their way to buy Coke instead of Pepsi, because "that's what the Olympic people drink!"

    It's all around us - the Nvidia/ATI scams. The Coke "real" commercials that imply you'll get teased by a hot beachcomber chick if you only drink their carbonated voodoo potions. The entirety of the fucking Superbowl. It's getting to a point where there is no more "product," only advertising. It's already gotten to a point where they are actually advertising for advertising! Don't buy it? Think of this - MTV's business model is based upon advertising both products and new "stars," who then advertise new "products" to make the majority of their livelyhood. MTV advertises Britney Spears, Britney advertises Pepsi, Pepsi advertises their tie-in deal-of-the-week; it's a never ending cycle of madness, and it's baffling how anyone ever makes any money!

  • by Chanc_Gorkon (94133) <gorkon@@@gmail...com> on Sunday August 22, 2004 @10:49PM (#10041255)
    We have idly sat by watching our teams venues get renamed for companies. We have 3Com Park, Nationwide Arena, PNC Park, Heinz Field, USAir Arena...anyone remember when our teams played in the Igloo, Thre Rivers Stadium, Riverfront Stadium, Candlestick Park....names that had meaning. Now if the team doesn't like the renewal deal, then they will rename the park after the next company willing to lay the bucks down to name the stadium. It's sick and I am getting tired of it...

    In NASCAR, the drivers hare knocking down and blocking bottles set on top of the car that belong to the race sponser because one of their associate sponsers is Coke. Knocking down Tropicana bottles and etc. Their car's are emblazoned with logos and sometimes they get special paint schemes for one race deals and the like. NASCAR itself has a official hotel, a official drink, a official fuel and I am sure a official water. When does it stop?

    Clean venues should be against the law as they restrict freedom. Freedom to wear whatever logo you'd like. To bring in a pepsi if you don't like coke. To let the athelete's drink whatever drink they want. The Olympics used to be one of the few events we have now where the athlete's did not care about what water they were drinking or whatever. I think one thing I would like right now is a list of these sponsers so I know who's stuff not to drink for this infraction on anyone's freedoms. Maybe this policy may be why the olympic venue's are not selling out.

    Itg is even bad at the local levels now....where I work, when I started 10 years ago, they had pepsi AND coke in the cafeteria. Now, their's only pepsi on campus. Pepsi is our official drink. Well piss on that...I bring in what I want...water or tea.

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