Ambush Marketing At The Olympics

Business has evolved into one of the largest governing powers of society, rivaling government itself. Unfortunately, in the wake of such expansion and growth, many ethical values have been thrown by the wayside. Civil Society Organizations, and bloggers such as ourselves have been active in communicating the need of ethically responsible business practices.

Normally, the activism against big business only focuses on the detriments that business causes on people. But, what about businesses hurting other businesses intentionally? This is often overlooked under the broad assumptions that all business is bad. Not all business is bad.

One practice particularly frustrating for firms, especially in sports, is Ambush Marketing. Ambush Marketing is extracting association from an athlete, or event, or other organization (such as the NFL) without paying a licensing fee. The reason that Ambush Marketing is a problem is that larger firms are using their brands to essentially destroy any connections which smaller businesses have worked hard, and paid for, to associate with.

Though defining who is practicing Ambush Marketing, and when, and to what extent, legislators have begun to draft laws protecting business from such unfair competition. The general trend is requiring a paid, association right to affiliate with an athlete or event. Though this seems like an obvious solution, the details are very vague. Most businesses are arguing that such exclusive rights is unfair to the free market, or that the definition of Ambush Marketing is too ambiguous to be written in legislation.

Ultimately, however, the issue revolves around business capturing too much of an athlete or event for their own monetary, or otherwise, gain. These issues happen on small and large scales. The biggest event causing problems is Ambush Marketing at the Olympics.

because the Olympics are a worldwide event, businesses such as Nike, Reebok and Adidas (just to name a few) will do anything to capture the attention of viewers. With new legislation in progress and a general awareness of Ambush Marketing,unethical corporations are creatively finding new ways to associate themselves with the games – for free!

These techniques vary from company to company. Popular methods of association are using soundtracks used in Olympics is individual ad campaigns, starting a YouTube series linking keywords to the games, and even parking a car out front of the games advertising one’s own brand.

Businesses are eroding at the very heart of the Olympics, which is worldwide fair and equal competition, for their own personal gain.

The worst part about the whole situation is that these Ambush Marketing strategies work. They work both because of the publicity they generate for being bad, as well as the powerful subliminal effects of them. Even if we are aware of the unethical marketing strategy, more often than not those businesses overpower the smaller, actual sponsors.

Though the legislation is in work to end this business practice the ultimate power lies with us the consumers to identify unethical Ambush Marketing and avoid purchases from the unethical business.



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