The Olympic brand war: have things gone too far?

Unless you've been living under a stone for the past few weeks, you'll be well aware that the Olympics are very much on their way. Of course, I use the word 'Olympics' with some caution as I'm not one of the super-brands who have parted with astounding amounts of cash for the pleasure of associating with this great sporting event. As we've been working with our clients to plan their summer marketing, it's understandable that they want to cash in on the extra tourism in London and run Olmpics-themed promotions - but you can't, not without risking a hefty fine for doing so. I'm all for an event which sees people from so many different communities coming together, but what with all of the Olympic sponsorship, it's really taken the edge off of a truly historic event.

The Jubilee: wonderfully ours

If, like me, you watched the slightly soggy (but charmingly British) Jubilee River Pageant, you'll have noticed that all of the brightly coloured boats travelling down the Thames were adorned only with flags and their own livery - they weren't sporting the logo of a confectionery giant, or a fast food chain. It was special because those were real people, taking part in a wonderful event because they wanted to - not because of some corporate sponsorship deal.

Even chips are subject to brand domination

Last week, the news broke that chips can only be sold at the Olympic Venue by McDonalds - which is bad news if you're a burger van catering for the athletes and spectators.

You can't help but wondering: has it all gone too far?

If you've invested the mega-bucks required to associate your brand with the Olympics, of course you want to protect your right to advertise. That said, I can't help but wonder that brand domination has gone waaay to far, and in doing so the sponsoring brands risk damaging their reputation. I'd love to hear your thoughts - have your opinions of the main sponsors changed as a result of their battle for exclusivity?

Image credit: smashingmagazine.com