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Brighton butcher falls foul of Olympic brand laws
A Brighton butcher has branded Olympic bosses “pathetic” after they ordered him to remove a Games-themed barbecue display from outside his shop.
Trading Standards, working on behalf of LOCOG - the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games - told the 41-year-old he had to take down any mention of the Games as he was infringing branding rules.
Mr Clark said: “I'm absolutely gobsmacked. They encourage the public to get involved and tell us that these are 'our games' and then go and do something like this.
“We've paid enough money for these Games so I don't know why we can't enjoy some of the benefits.”
The butcher has been running an Olympic barbecue special which he advertises on an A-board outside his shop in Lewes Road, Brighton.
On it is a cut-out of the Olympic rings and the words: “4 Bolt Burgers, 4 Olympic Torch Kebabs, 4 Gold Medal Sausages and a disposable BBQ for £10.”
After failing to get into the Olympic spirit or recognise a good bargain, officers said that he had to remove the notice to “protect brand loyalty”.
A spokeswoman for LOCOG added: “We have specific guidelines on brand protection in order to maintain brand value.
“We carefully control its use to very specific areas and partners. Therefore it is not possible to use the London 2012 logo or use the Olympic rings unless accredited to do so.”
They argued that the London Committee had been entrusted with protecting “the long-term value” of the Olympic and Paralympic brands.
Guidelines on their website add: “The Olympic symbol is one of the most recognisable and valuable brands in the world, and we have obligations to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to maintain this value and prevent unauthorised exploitation.
“After our Games in 2012, the Olympic and Paralympic brands will live on and will need to continue to communicate the ethos of the Games. We must therefore carefully manage how the Games' Marks are used and what the London 2012 brand stands for.”
The action is the latest in a line of similar measures over the last few weeks.
In London a baker was forced to remove a bagel display arranged in the shape of the Olympic rings while a Games camera man had to cover the make of his equipment because it wasn't official.
Last week cricket commentator Jonathan Agnew tweeted to his 176,000 followers that his golf brand umbrella was confiscated as he visited Lord's to watch the archery.
Karen Clark, Paul's wife, said: “It's ridiculous. The whole country has been getting into the Olympic spirit apart from them.
“I don't see what they are gaining from doing this? They just look stupid.”
Paul added: “I'm trying to run a small business during a difficult time and this is yet more bully-boy tactics from the big companies.”
LOCOG has outlined a number of “Games Marks” which “unauthorised” companies are forbidden from using. They include:
The Olympic Symbol
The London 2012 Olympic emblems
The London 2012 mascots
The word 'London 2012'
The words 'Olympic', 'Olympiad', 'Olympian' (and their plurals and words very similar to them - eg 'Olympix')
The Olympic Motto: 'Citius Altius Fortius' / 'Faster Higher Stronger'
The Team GB logo
The Olympic Rings
The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 states that generic terms such as ‘Twenty Twelve’, ‘Games’, ‘Gold’, ‘sponsors’ and ‘medals’ used in combination could potentially infringe LOCOG’s rights.