2014? A summer chocked full of national and international sporting events? CAP Copy Advice is looking forward to the next display of outstanding sporting talent and clearly we’re not alone. We are already receiving enquiries from advertisers wondering whether they can link with the upcoming Commonwealth Games. We asked Glasgow 2014 some questions and here are their answers.

CAP: In relation to the marketing/advertising activities of the Commonwealth Games’ partners, what are your goals in the lead up to and during the Games?

Glasgow 2014: Our goal in the lead up to and during the Games is to protect the interests of our sponsors and licensees and ensure that they are able to realise as much value as possible from their investment in the Games. Without those investors, the Games simply could not happen. If we fail to protect their rights, they may think twice about investing in future Commonwealth Games which would impact the longevity of the Games.

With this in mind our task is to protect our brands, enforce the exclusive rights of our sponsors to create a commercial association with the Games and to detect, deter and prevent ambush marketing.

CAP: What tips can you give marketers planning ad campaigns around the Commonwealth Games on how to avoid breaching Glasgow 2014 rules?

Glasgow 2014: The first tip is to read our guidance on the Glasgow Commonwealth Games Act 2008 (Games Association Right) Order 2009 (available here). This Order is drafted very widely and any ‘Commonwealth Games’ themed campaign is likely to be in breach of it, regardless of whether the Commonwealth Games is explicitly mentioned.

The second tip is to consider the ethics of undertaking a marketing campaign to benefit from the excitement of the Games when you have not contributed to them. This activity directly damages the funding of the Games and any future Games.

The third and final tip is: “If in doubt, ask us”. It is more cost effective to ask permission from Glasgow 2014 before launching an advertising campaign that might infringe our rights or those of our sponsors. If you don’t ask, you may end up spending a lot of money on a campaign which has to be withdrawn within hours of its launch.

CAP: How many official partners does the Commonwealth Games have?

Glasgow 2014: At the time of writing, we have 39 official sponsors with more to be announced shortly.

CAP: What are the common pitfalls that non-partner advertisers run into?

Glasgow 2014: Undoubtedly, the most common pitfall that non-partner advertisers run into is breaching the Association Right mentioned above.

Also, advertisers often believe that we only protect the main ‘Games Logo’ and, so long as they steer clear of using this they will be fine. In fact, the Organising Committee have over 50 registered trademarks or design rights which we monitor and enforce on a daily basis.

CAP: Are you actively monitoring for ads that might contravene intellectual property rights?

Glasgow 2014: Yes, we have a team of people monitoring and enforcing our Intellectual Property Rights and we work closely with our legal advisers in this respect.

CAP: Do you provide any advice, training or guidance?

Glasgow 2014: We have held many informational and educational events in Glasgow and further afield to speak to businesses and advise them on what they can and can’t do in the run up to and during the Games. We have produced detailed guidance on our website on the Association Right mentioned earlier, guidelines for Games suppliers and detailed guidance on the Commonwealth Games (Trading and Advertising)(Scotland)Regulations 2013 which will be in place at Games time. Most importantly however we would ask people to contact us direct with any queries they may have around the rules.

CAP: What sanctions can Glasgow 2014 invoke if a marketer gets it wrong?

Glasgow 2014: If a marketer gets it wrong and breaches the Association Right, Glasgow 2014 can raise various court actions, including actions for interdict (to stop the activity) and actions for damages (to compensate for any damage suffered by Glasgow 2014).

During the Games, certain areas around venues will be used as ‘Event Zones’ and any trading or advertising in these zones will be subject to certain restrictions contained in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games (Trading and Advertising)(Scotland) Regulations 2013. By way of example, billboard advertisement, leafleting, give-aways and busking in Event Zones will require the prior authorisation of Glasgow 2014. Undertaking such advertising without the required authorisation will be an offence under the Regulations punishable by a fine. More information on these regulations is available here.

CAP: Who should advertisers contact if they have further questions?

Glasgow 2014: Email queries can be directed to the Brand Protection team at [email protected] or telephone queries can be directed to the Brand Protection Manager, Aileen Alexander, on 030 2014 0445.

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