Traders near the Royal Commonwealth Pool have been banned from cashing in on the Commonwealth Games under a strict set of rules which even prohibit them using the word “Glasgow”.
The area around the Dalkeith Road complex has been designated an “event zone” in a bid to stem the threat of so-called “ambush marketing” during Glasgow 2014.
As the official aquatic venue for the Commonwealth Games, the pool will host the world’s leading competitors in swimming and diving events, and will pull in thousands of spectators this summer.
But small businesses and guest houses in Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh University’s Pollock Halls of Residence, the large Scottish Widows building, the Salisbury Arms pub and even Preston Street Primary School will not be allowed to use any Glasgow 2014 terms in their advertising without permission from the Games’ organising committee.
Any businesses flouting the rules could face court action leading to fines, be ordered to pay damages or have part of their profits confiscated.
Intellectual property specialists at law firm Pinsent Masons today warned businesses to tread carefully.
Senior associate Gillian Anderson, left, said: “This could be a minefield for businesses undertaking marketing activities during the games both within and outside an event zone.
“Although the Commonwealth Games are known as the ‘friendly games’, do not think that the organising committee won’t sue.”
The Glasgow Commonwealth Games (Trading and Advertising) (Scotland) Regulations 2013 will also stop businesses using Games-related advertising within 20 metres of the periphery of event zones if it can be seen from the boundaries.
Other legislation prohibits businesses across the UK from suggesting there an association between the Games and the goods or services they provide.
A list of words such as “Games”, “2014”, “Gold”, “Silver”, “Bronze”, “Medals”, “Two Thousand and Fourteen” and even “Glasgow” are also banned from being used in marketing material by any business other than an official sponsor, or someone who has paid a licence fee.
A Glasgow 2014 spokesman said: “The Commonwealth Games is a major opportunity for Scotland and Scottish business to showcase itself to the world. Since the Glasgow Commonwealth Games (Trading and Advertising)(Scotland) Regulations 2013 came into force last year, we have been working with businesses locally in and around our venues to make sure they can get the most out of the Games, be clear on what the regulations will mean for them and how they can be part this fantastic event.”
Local councillor Cameron Rose said: “We do have a flyposting problem that we try and keep on top of in the Holyrood Park area around about the pool.
“With it being such a significant event, I welcome restrictions and limitations on illegal advertising. This all comes as part of a package and we are delighted to have a bit of the Commonwealth Games here.”
Mr Rose, a Conservative councillor, added: “Excessive advertising is often put up around the university accommodation, often from companies who want to take advantage of the students in the area.”
Natalie Greenyer, who owns the Cloudberry self-catering apartment, just across the road from the Commonwealth Pool, said she was not aware of the restrictions.
She said: “I wasn’t planning on doing any advertising at all. The only thing I have done is up my prices, and that’s the only thing I will do.”
AN OLYMPIC RING OF FAMILIARITY TO ENFORCEMENT
The 2012 London Olympics also enforced strict advertising and marketing rules for businesses hoping to cash in on the sporting event.
But non-Olympic sponsor brands pushed the regulations to the limit, launching high-profile advertising campaigns to steal the limelight from companies which paid millions to be associated with the Games.
Nike launched a global TV campaign to coincide with the opening ceremony, featuring sports people in places around the world named London.
Meanwhile, Irish bookmaker Paddy Power ran billboards claiming to be the sponsor of a major sporting event – in London, France.