Sunday, May 24th17.2°C
25936
25998

Olympic Committee warns consumers about trademark infringements

TORONTO - The Canadian Olympic Committee is cautioning consumers about a marketing campaign it says infringes on Olympic trademarks.

The organization said it considers a line of North Face products, advertised as its "International Collection", uses Olympic-themed advertising without being a sponsor and is misleading Canadians who may think they are supporting the country's Olympic program with their purchase.

The North Face isn't an official Olympic sponsor, supporter or licensee of the Canadian Olympic Team, the Committee said, adding it expects the company to "take immediate action to remedy the situation."

North Face, an outdoor and sports clothing retailer, said in an email Wednesday that the company has long supported Canadian freeskiing athletes, including Canadian Freeskiing athletes Mike Riddle and Yuki Tsubota.

"We are not an official sponsor of the Canadian Olympic Committee or Team Canada and never indicated we were," the company said, declining to comment further.

Christopher Overholt, chief executive officer of the Canadian Olympic Committee, said in a statement that the Committee "will vigorously defend its brand, including all its sponsors and licensees, against ambush marketing attempts to mislead Canadians."

"I'm concerned that Canadians have purchased the North Face apparel assuming that by doing so they are supporting the Canadian Olympic Team, when that is just not the case."

The Committee watches for instances of what it describes as ambush marketing, an advertising technique in which companies try to cash in on events like the Olympics without actually paying to be officially affiliated.

"Olympics are the 'creme de la creme' of sponsorships and all other sponsorships are sort of below that," said Monica LaBarge, a marketing professor at Queen's University.

"It's certainly a huge deal and, unsurprisingly, the Olympic Committees take them pretty seriously because if you have sponsors who are paying millions and millions of dollars, then you have an obligation to protect that sponsorship."

While it's hard to control what other marketers do, she added, organizers will become more vigilant as it draws closer to the games.

Norm O'Reilly, a sports marketing expert with the University of Ottawa, said what companies seek when they pay to sponsor an athlete or event is exclusivity.

While there are ways for non-affiliated companies to get around the advertising rules, the guidelines themselves have become stricter.

"It's much, much less and much, much more controlled than it used to be," he said. "Where you see activity happening is in the social media world, where it's not as certain what you have control of and where borders fall."

Ambush marketing is a tactic that can seem worth the risk to many companies, O'Reilly added, since long-term studies by the university have shown that about 40 per cent of people in developed countries will support organizations that they believe are supporting their Olympic team.

"The COC is right in that misleading people will alter their purchase patterns in a way where they think they're supporting Canadian athletes but they are not," he said.

Hudson's Bay is the official outfitter of the Olympic team in Canada, while other sponsors include Canadian Tire, Sport Chek and Sports Experts, as well as Adidas.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

24910


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX15200.76-2.85
S&P CDNX703.48+2.97
DJIA18232.02-53.72
Nasdaq5089.36-1.43
S&P 5002126.06-4.76
CDN Dollar0.8135+0.0002
Gold1204.30+1.30
Oil57.45-1.98
Lumber273.80+3.70
Natural Gas2.887-0.064

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.13-0.01
Knighthawk0.010.00
QHR Technologies Inc1.48+0.03
Cantex0.03-0.01
Anavex Life Sciences0.425+0.053
Metalex Ventures0.09+0.01
Russel Metals25.79-0.03
Copper Mountain Mining1.38-0.03
Colorado Resources0.105+0.005
ReliaBrand Inc0.0048-0.0049
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.04+0.01
Mission Ready Services0.175-0.010
Decisive Dividend Corporation2.20+0.60

 



26180

FEATURED Property
21916961612 Sunrise Road
5 bedrooms 4 baths
$695,000
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Do or do not

Photo: Thinkstock.com“The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious of the rose.” - Kahlil Gibran Good planning is all about managing chan...


Penetrate the smokescreen

Photo: ContributedHas this ever happened to you? You’re in the middle of your second or third “good discussion” with a prospect. Everything’s going great. The prospect seems en...


Squaring the circle

Photo: Thinkstock.comI have been reading about market segmentation and choice. Howard Moskowitz’s research into tomato sauce as retold by Malcom Gladwell on the TED talks (http://www.ted.com/tal...

_



26418

26363


Member of BC Press Council


26316