How do I combat ambush marketing?

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Published on LexisPSL on 04/12/2013

The following TMT Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • How do I combat ambush marketing?
  • Main concept
  • Formulate a strategy
  • Do not rely solely on event organisers
  • Beware of online ambushes
  • React proportionately
  • Consider action v inaction
  • Control over event participants
  • Control over event venue and surrounding areas
  • Key legislative and regulatory provisions

Main concept

The aim of the ambush marketer is to benefit from the prestige and goodwill associated with major events without paying the price stumped up by official sponsors. On the other hand, official sponsors want to protect their substantial investment in sponsoring an event; unauthorised marketing activity may dilute their exclusive rights and ultimately undermine the sponsorship model that funds most sporting events.

Formulate a strategy

Anticipate ambush marketing in its various forms. This can be online protest groups, fan-based actions at the event (such as large groups sporting branded t-shirts) or close-to-the line advertising campaigns such as Paddy Power's billboard posters promoting its sponsorship of the 'largest athletics event in London this year' (being a village called London in France). Form a strategy for dealing with the full spectrum of possible activities. Such a strategy may include monitoring social media websites, creating template cease and desist letters, taking legal advice and preparing for emergency injunctions in the event that immediate action becomes necessary.

Do not rely solely on event organisers

While event organisers may effectively police an event (and are responsible for doing so), official sponsors should also remain active in monitoring marketing ac

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