Thursday, 8 October 2009

Rio 2016, the great triumph ... and ambush marketing

A giant party broke out in the streets of Rio de Janeiro last Friday when the International Olympic Committee announced that the city of Rio de Janeiro had been chosen to host the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics Games. This historic decision was viewed by the people and the authorities as a conquest, since the Olympic Games will be hosted for the first time in South American, and because the other competitors (Chicago, Madrid and Tokyo) were very strong. Nevertheless, Rio de Janeiro’s victory left no doubts as it took 66 votes in favour against 32 for Madrid in the final round of voting.

The contagious atmosphere of the victory seems to have already overcome the limits of the law and fair competition, at least to the eyes of the IP experts since, the following day, besides praising for Rio de Janeiro’s success a great number of Brazilian and foreign companies took the opportunity to advertise their products and services in local newspapers in connection with the big event yet to come. Other companies, however, praised the victory of Rio de Janeiro in connection with their main products or services.

Such advertisements may be qualified as typical ambush marketing practices and association with the Olympic marks, and evidence that the Olympic authorities will have tough work ahead to tame the enthusiasm of the population and the hunger of the local and foreign companies, as free riders will surely attempt to profit from the biggest sport events ever held in this country.

Further to that, ambush marketing is still a recent phenomenon in Brazil, especially for the local courts, which will sure demand new rules, education, tenacity and patience to stop the ongoing practices.

Prepared by José Carlos Vaz e Dias (Di Blasi Parente Vaz e Dias e Asociados), posted by Jeremy

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