Six Bizarre Marketing Restrictions From The Olympics

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Six Bizarre Marketing Restrictions From The Olympics Image

You might have heard that there’s been a big event taking place in South America over past few weeks and for those that can afford the millions of pounds it costs to sponsor the event, it provides access to a global platform. For everybody else, there are plenty of pitfalls to avoid.

Besides the constraints on the use of trademarked phrases, images and logos, there are even more (and sometimes crazy) limits on what brands can and can’t do during the event. Make sure you don’t fall foul of these six bizarre marketing restrictions.

1.Don’t share, retweet or repost anything from official Olympic accounts

That’s right, don’t retweet anything from the @Rio2016 account or any of the official team accounts. You could find yourself in trouble.

2. Don’t host an Olympic-themed team building event for your employees

We’re not entirely sure how this would be policed, but we’d cancel that Olympic-themed fancy dress party if we were you.

3. You can’t use hashtags that include Olympics trademarks such as #Rio2016

With social media use prevalent in today’s society and a fantastic channel for brands to communicate with, it’s no wonder that there are now restrictions on which hashtags you can use. Tread very carefully when using hashtags.

4. Don’t wish athletes good luck

This seems a little bit harsh in our eyes. What’s wrong with supporting your country and letting your athletes know that you’re behind them? Everything apparently.

5. Avoid sharing results

Simply sharing the results of an event can leave you in hot water.

6. GIFs Are Off Limits

For the first time, there are rules in place for the use of GIFs and Vines. The official rules state:

“The use of Olympic Material transformed into graphic animated formats such as animated GIFs (i.e. GIFV), GFY, WebM, or short video formats such as Vines and others, is expressly prohibited.”

As you’d expect, the Internet fought back!

So there you have it, six bizarre restrictions to keep in mind when marketing around the Olympics. To learn more about the marketing and advertising restrictions, you can download the brand guidelines or view the news access rules.

PS – If the IOC is reading, firstly welcome and secondly, please don’t shout at us.

Simon Patchett

By Simon Patchett

Simon is our Operations Manager and search marketing expert having previously worked with clients such as Ladbrokes & First4Lawyers. He is also responsible for creating marketing strategies that get results for a wide range of clients.