In the lead-up to the Rio Olympic Games, it’s worth noting that the International Olympic Committee last year issued guidelines relaxing Rule 40 of the Olympic Charter, which prevents competitors and team personnel from appearing in non-sponsor advertising during the Games period.
However the 2015 guidelines didn’t go as far as some athletes hoped or as some reports have suggested. The guidelines allow non-sponsors to continue with pre-existing, non-specific campaigns during the Games period, as long as the campaign has been approved in advance by the IOC or the relevant National Olympic Committee.
Restricted terms include Rio, victory, summer, performance and games, where the advertisement otherwise suggests a connection.
The IOC’s social media guidelines also restrict athletes’ ability to engage in non-sponsor promotions, so it’s by no means a free-for-all.
The Olympic Games advertising blackout period runs from 27 July to 24 August, and then from 30 August to 21 September for the Paralympic Games.