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The Almighty Buck Your Rights Online

The IOC's 'Clean Venue' Policy 549

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 Doches ( 761288 ) <> on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:21PM (#10037967)
    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?
  • this is stupid (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Ravenrage ( 739755 ) <> on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:21PM (#10037969)
    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"??? horseshit...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:21PM (#10037970)
    From the IOC website:

    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 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?
  • 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 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:22PM (#10037978) Journal
    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.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.

  • Re:Frightening (Score:3, Insightful)

    by wideBlueSkies ( 618979 ) * on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:31PM (#10038028) Journal
    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.


  • 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.)
  • 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.

  • Re:Frightening (Score:2, Insightful)

    by thedillybar ( 677116 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:37PM (#10038061)
    >So, I didn't RTFA of course...
    >Well, just accellerate current corporate greed and how much power corporations wield...

    If you RTFA you would know that it has little to do with corporate greed, and lots to do with making the Olympics possible. Without sponsors, the Olympic games simply wouldn't have enough funding to go on. Are you going to donate some cash (or vote to use some tax dollars) to give more to the Olympics? Even if you do, others won't. They're trying to protect their sponsors, just like the free web providers do by not allowing you to show your own banner ads. It sounds like they might be going a bit far, but they have to do something to protect their sponsors or else they'll lose their funding.

  • 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 thedillybar ( 677116 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:43PM (#10038096)
    >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 of your mind. You really think people say to themselves "well, I would go to the Olympics, but I can't wear my Adidas shirt...maybe in 4 years..."? Come on.

  • Not justified (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:44PM (#10038104)
    I thought capitalism included the freedom to act within the rules? Ambushing may circumvent intentions, but as long as Nike didn't break any laws, they didn't do anything wrong--right?
  • Re:Frightening (Score:5, Insightful)

    by randyest ( 589159 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:45PM (#10038107) Homepage
    Without sponsors, the Olympic games simply wouldn't have enough funding to go on.

    Are you serious?

    If this isn't a troll, then you've lost touch a bit. The Olympics are supposed to be about international athletic competetion. Not million-dollar stage shows with fireworks and robotic Greek gods flying around. None of that adds to the real spectacle, IMHO, and none of the games requires expensive equipment or locales.

    The article said Coke spent $60M, VISA another $30M, something like $120M from just the major sponsors.

    You could have a perfectly excellent Olympics for a tenth or less of that. An acceptable Olympics (to most) for under a million.

    The athletes want to compete, not be whores for some commercial concern (at least until after they win.)
  • by randyest ( 589159 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:48PM (#10038125) Homepage
    I neither watch nor participate, but my "problem" isn't solved.

    I can no longer watch the Olympics like I used to.

    I want the old, pre-sell-out Olyompics back, thanks.
  • Re:Frightening (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @12:49PM (#10038132) Homepage
    Then would you care to explain what made the Olympics possible since Ancient Greek times? They didn't have advertising hit-squads back then did they?

  • So, it being a private enterprise, the IOC could deny you for any reason, even taboo ones (race, nationality.)

    And face boycotts like those of the early 1980s.

  • 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.

  • The Good Old Days (Score:2, Insightful)

    by U96 ( 538500 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:07PM (#10038228)
    I'm not totally sure I get all the bitching and whining about the "spirit" of the games. The olympic games are thought to have evolved from greek funeral games, which were athletic competitions put on by the wealthy to honour the passing of a (rich) relative. The more money thrown at the games and the athletes, the more athletes were attracted, and the better the fame and glory attributed to the athletes and to the beloved (rich) dead. In other words, if you were rich, and you wanted a memorial for your loved one, you bought some advertising. As far as I can tell, it's always been about money, fame, and advertising from the start. How is this really that different from today?
  • by jelle ( 14827 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:15PM (#10038270) Homepage
    Actually I'll turn it around by saying that it's not the companies spending a lot of money that are needed to make Olympic games happen, but that what you consider a 'modern Olympic games' is a result of the companies spending all that money.

    Now, if you think Olympic games are about the fireworks and a city getting cash to build a large infrastructure around the games that they can enjoy long after, you should love it the way it is. If you think the Olympic games are about athletic achievements, you must realize that you can run and jump very well without having to create such a show and without having to build all that brand new infrastructure.

    Personally, I think that although it's very nice if the cities organizing such an event can reap such benefits, I still think that for a lack of creativity, the Olympic committee has sold its soul for money.

    There have to be ways to finance the event without having to be anal about which brand of soda people walk around with, and without having to forbid athletes to blog, and without selling all exclusive media rights to a single company per country, etc. Just think how much more fun and informative the event would be for everybody if there would be blogs firectly from the athletes right after they win/lose a competition, and if more of the media except just NBC joined in the coverage.

  • by randyest ( 589159 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:18PM (#10038282) Homepage
    Yes, it is. Isn't it?

    But I suppose as long as people like you who are happy with the current state of affairs are in the majority, then to heck with anyone who disagrees.

    You know -- the tyranny of the majority. Or in this case, the Tyranny of Marketing, is so nice. Dontcha think?
  • 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.

  • by blamanj ( 253811 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:22PM (#10038300)
    It seems that even the president is trying to cash in on the Olympics [] in ways that may not be legit. Especially considering that there is an act of Congress that grants exclusive use of the term Olympics to the USOC and states that it "shall be non-political and may not promote the candidacy of any individual seeking public office."
  • by payndz ( 589033 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:36PM (#10038367)
    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!!!

  • by randyest ( 589159 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:37PM (#10038371) Homepage
    Yet another reason I prefer it the old way. Just think of the possibilities for new, exciting, events [].
  • by green1 ( 322787 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @01:51PM (#10038442)
    what I always find amazing is that people PAY to wear advertising for companies... you pay good money to wear a nike ballcap or adidas shirt or whatever... if it's plastered in advertising, why aren't they paying you to wear it?

    The only advertising I wear is for non-profit groups I volunteer with, or in some cases a list of sponsors on the back of a shirt from an event I worked, where the shirt was free. I never have seen why I should pay someone to advertise for them.
  • 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.
  • Re:Frightening (Score:5, Insightful)

    by badasscat ( 563442 ) <> on Sunday August 22, 2004 @02:09PM (#10038524)
    None of that adds to the real spectacle, IMHO, and none of the games requires expensive equipment or locales.

    The article said Coke spent $60M, VISA another $30M, something like $120M from just the major sponsors.

    You could have a perfectly excellent Olympics for a tenth or less of that. An acceptable Olympics (to most) for under a million.

    Are you kidding? []

    Contrary to your statement, many Olympic events do require expensive locales. See, there are rules here, and rules are what make sports what they are - without them, a sport is just a couple of guys hitting a ball back and forth. You can't just swim in any swimming pool, you can't play soccer in a baseball stadium, you can't have a rowing competition in the middle of the ocean. These things all have to be regulation size and with regulated conditions, not to mention enough seats to ensure that people who want to can actually watch.

    You couldn't build an Olympic-regulation swimming pool for less than $1 million. Even if you only held the Olympics in cities that had held them before (which sort of defeats the purpose of having them), the cost of refurbishing and modernizing old Olympic facilities alone would easily top $1 million. And that's just the first thing you'd have to do.

    Hell, it cost more than $1 million just to put a track around the football field at my old high school. And that was in the 1980's!

    Billions are being spent this time on security. And don't tell me it's not needed or that it's all paranoia, because you know, it's not like terrorism at the Olympics has never happened before [], right? If you can't protect the athletes, then it's not even worth having an Olympics. It's just sports - it's not worth risking your life over. So this is a required expense if you ask me, and it's not really the reason for the high cost of the games anyway - Sydney 2000 cost $5.9 billion.

    So your cost analysis is a little off. The Olympics could be done for less than the Athens games depending on the city, sure, but not much less in this day and age. The logistics, the facilities required, the security, hell the simple cost of salaried staff would be in the multiple millions of dollars at least. I don't see how you could do an Olympics in this day and age for less than several billion dollars.

    Anyway, I don't have any problem at all with Olympic officials forcing athletes to hide corporate logos. How many sports have we seen where athletes have basically turned into walking advertisements? In some sports they seem to be actively hawking their sponsors during games (cough NBA basketball cough). And I have seen some seriously questionable "viral" marketing at these games... for example, just yesterday at the diving competition, the American divers were repeatedly shown listening to music during rest periods, with the NBC analysts commenting on their playlists. So today, I hit the NBC Olympics web site, and sure enough, there's a link asking "What music does Laura Wilkinson train to?" on the right side of the page, which goes to a page of huge Real Rhapsody ads. That kind of sneaky stuff really pisses me off.
  • 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 gilroy ( 155262 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @02:18PM (#10038567) Homepage Journal
    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 bastardizing the Olympics. I also blame the IOC for allowing, nay, encouraging it to happen. Guess what? There's more than enough blame to cover them both.
  • Re:Frightening (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Archibald Buttle ( 536586 ) < minus cat> on Sunday August 22, 2004 @02:30PM (#10038635)
    Then would you care to explain what made the Olympics possible since Ancient Greek times? They didn't have advertising hit-squads back then did they?

    The Olympics have not been going since Ancient Greek times.

    There were the ancient Olympics, which stopped several thousand years ago.

    Now we have the modern Olympics, started just over 100 years ago. Two different competitions with different organisations and different sets of ideals.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2004 @02:57PM (#10038797)
    ....covered with a a thin veneer of flag-waving, bless-my-country-and-fuck-yours nationalism.

    To me, there was no way they could ever get worse-- until they decided to split up the summer and winter games. Now, I get angry about practically everything else on the planet taking a backseat to this charade every other year, instead of every four years-- and each time, the Olympics as a whole become even more of a farce than the previous time. I honestly don't know how they manage to outdo themselves, but they do.

    The one thing that has made me smile this year, though, is the stellar performance of USA Basketball-- multimillion-dollar crybabies getting their asses handed to them by teams from countries where "stuff scratched out of the dirt" is considered a food group. I don't watch the games, but I can't miss the headlines about it as I scan the paper for Legitimate News.
  • Re:Frightening (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bstone ( 145356 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @03:05PM (#10038836)
    You do realize that the use of credit to make a purchase is not a right but an option vendors allow you to have. Would you prefer that instead of a credit card they only accepted cash, forcing thousands of people to carry large sums of money on them.

    It's an option vendors allow because they want to attract customers. If they accepted only cash, they would lose customers in droves. It's in the best interests of the vendors to give their customers the most options to buy their products as they can. When they decide to take money from VISA in order to REDUCE the options their customers have to spend money in their establishment, that's their option. It's also my option to decide whether or not to buy there based on how friendly they are to me. Personally, I hope that they end up with a net loss by making this kind of deals, but that's just me. I'm certainly not going to carry huge sums of cash on me in order to buy from stores that want VISA's money more than they want to build their business based on serving their customers.

  • by maxpublic ( 450413 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @03:12PM (#10038864) Homepage
    America isn't a christian nation. There are indeed religious nutbags who desperately wish it were a christian nation, but so we've managed to keep those nutbags from seizing the government.

    If it ever becomes a christian nation, I'll be one of the first to pick up a rifle and join the rebellion against the theocracy.

  • by agurkan ( 523320 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @03:21PM (#10038908) Homepage
    I assume this is a joke, but in case some people take it seriously, I'll reply seriously. The point is, most of the actions like bringing your favourite beverage, or wearing a shirt you already own is not advertisement by the beverage company or the shirts manufacturer. The homogonization attempts are scary and sets a dangerous precedent.
    BTW, I don't buy "if you don't like the rules don't go to venues" response. This is an event that happens once every four years, in a single place in the world. What should I do if I want to see the best athletes, other than giving in?
    The consistency of /. response is also supported by that the choices athletes have against IOC is comparable to choices artists have against RIAA.
  • 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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday August 22, 2004 @03:39PM (#10038979)

    Corporations may be the johns, but it's the Olympics who's the streetwalker.

    Don't you dare insult prostitutes and their customers like that.

  • 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 maxpublic ( 450413 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @03:54PM (#10039060) Homepage
    Bush is undoubtedly a christian nutbag, but so far he hasn't managed to set up himself up as Uber-Dictator, enforce prayer in schools and the workplace, or disband the Supreme Court and replace it with a band of bishops.

    So while our leader may be a religious nutcase, our country is not.

  • 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 maxpublic ( 450413 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @04:25PM (#10039203) Homepage
    And there's plenty more to come. It's only a matter of time.

    But he hasn't turned the U.S. into a theocracy...yet.

    That may be why I'm voting for that douchebag Kerry. Not because I think he's any better than Bush (I don't), but because the democrats and republicans are so much like immature frat boys that I think the government will deadlock for four years with him in charge.

    That's what I'm hoping for anyway. An ineffectual, deadlocked government. I think it's the best I can get under the current system.

  • Re:My Fear (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FFFish ( 7567 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @04:52PM (#10039351) Homepage
    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 Pepsi products in that city. Ho-Chi brand marijuana, on the other hand, will be readily available, due to the political influence weilded by that ex-gang (now legit) grower.

    Across the border in Seattle, it will be quite the reverse: Pepsi will have landed the municipal softdrink contract, and the DEA will have successfully established themselves as the drug industry top dog. Supplies of Columbian cocaine will be readily available, but BC pot will be banned.

    Political borders will continue to exist as a public deception, but the corporate borders will be what really affects one on a day-to-day basis.
  • by horza ( 87255 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @05:01PM (#10039386) Homepage
    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...

  • by robogun ( 466062 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @05:58PM (#10039617)
    ...if you think Olympic games are about the fireworks and a city getting cash to build a large infrastructure around the games that they can enjoy long after, you should love it the way it is

    The idea that the host city gets a lot of cash and a sporting infrastructure is a common misconception. In a few weeks, it will be announced exactly how much the Greek people will lose by hosting the Games. I'm guessing they will lose the most money in history of the Olympics, even exceeding the blow Montreal took in '76.

    It is not entirely their fault. Security costs exceed 1.2 billion US -- an enormous cost for a country of only 11 million to shoulder.

    Salt Lake made a little cash -- but did not build anything that wasn't already planned. Atlanta built nothing that wasn't prepaid, the games were spread from DC to Florida to use existing facilities. Things like Centennial Park were funded privately, not by IOC activity.

    I agree that the IOC has sold itself for money. Some of it has got to be backfiring. For instance, by only accepting Visa (R) credit cards as payment for tickets, they are excluding potential spectators and merchandise buyers who hold cards bearing other brands. If I were running these Games, I would accept any instrument of payment the paying fan had on them, in order to move merchandise and tickets that will be valueless in two weeks. I am guessing that the Athens organisers have lost more than the US$40m the IOC gained from the sponsorship fee.

  • Re:Frightening (Score:2, Insightful)

    by parksie ( 540658 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @06:57PM (#10039906)
    Funny? Insightful :/

    *shakes head sadly*
  • by Ensign Nemo ( 19284 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @07:26PM (#10040043)
    What if I wanted to wave a flag with a big yellow smiley face on it? I bet you it would be allowed. Why the hell then restrict the Taiwanese flag?

    Last I knew the flag didn't have to be a national flag.
  • 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"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 slash.dt ( 701002 ) on Sunday August 22, 2004 @08:03PM (#10040299)
    but Taiwan is not a country recognized internationally.

    It's recognised enough to be allowed to compete as a separate country.

    Consistency is important. If you let Taiwan compete, it shoudl be able to use its flag. If you don't recognise it as a country, don't let it compete as one.

  • Kathy Freeman carried an Australian Aboriginal flag when she won the 400 m sprint at the Commonwealth Games in 1998. She was threatened with all sorts of things if she did it again, but she told all the powers that be to get stuffed. She impressed the said powers so much that she was chosen to light the cauldron at the Olympics.

    And then she won the 400 in Sydney, and did it again. Most Australians regard her as a hero. Telling the powers that be to get stuffed is a great Australian tradition.
  • by Chanc_Gorkon ( 94133 ) <{gorkon} {at} {}> 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.
  • by ( 786501 ) on Monday August 23, 2004 @12:47AM (#10041770) Homepage Journal
    I guess this logo [] I made is even more fitting after reading this story.

Logic is a pretty flower that smells bad.