Hundreds of Olympics officers of the
Hundreds of uniformed Olympics officers will begin touring the country today enforcing sponsors' multimillion-pound marketing deals, in a highly organised mission.
Almost 300 enforcement officers will be seen across the country checking firms to ensure they are not staging ambush marketing or illegally associating themselves with the Games at the expense of official sponsors such as Adidas, McDonald's,
Coca-Cola and BP.
The Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, refused to rule out that even more soldiers may be called upon to help with security. However, as well as the regular Army, the Olympic brand army will start its work with a vengeance today.
Wearing purple caps and tops, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) are heading the biggest brand repression operation staged in the UK. Under legislation specially introduced for the London Games, they have the right to enter shops and offices
and bring court action with fines of up to £ 20,000. The ODA seems to comprise of council workers seconded from Trading Substandards.
Olympics organisers have warned businesses that during London 2012 their advertising should not include a list of banned words, including gold , silver and bronze , summer , sponsors and London
. Publicans have been advised that blackboards advertising live TV coverage must not refer to beer brands or brewers without an Olympics deal, while caterers and restaurateurs have been told not to advertise dishes that could be construed as
having an association with the event.
The scale of the brand enforcement squad is likely to intensify criticism that the Olympics has become too corporate. Paul Jordan, an expert in brand protection at Bristows solicitors said they were almost certainly tougher than at previous Olympics:
No other brands would have people walking the streets being their eyes and ears, protecting their interests.