AOC suffers setback in preventing Olympic Games ambush marketing

swimming-pool-594204_1920The Australian Olympic Committee has released a statement following last week’s Federal Court decision to dismiss its application against Telstra in relation to Olympic Games-themed advertising promoting Seven’s “Olympics on 7” app.

The Telstra ads prompted consumers to “Go to Rio with the ‘Olympics on 7’ app” and described Telstra as the “Official technology partner of Seven’s Olympic Games coverage”.

Telstra last year ended its longstanding sponsorship of the Australian Olympic Team.

The AOC took action under section 36 of the Olympic Insignia Protection Act 1987.  Section 36 restricts the use of protected Olympic expressions, such as Olympic or Olympiad, to the AOC and its licensees.

The court, while stating that “there could be no doubt that Telstra intended to, and may well have succeeded in capitalising or exploiting, in a marketing sense, the forthcoming Rio Olympic Games”, found that there was no contravention.

The AOC stated that it is disappointed by a “very narrow application of the law” which is “against the interests of Australia’s Olympic Teams”.

Seven and Telstra have welcomed the decision.

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