Ambush Marketing

I will admit that I’d never heard of this term until I read this piece from the Wall Street Journal. Once again, I am a little slow on the uptake. Apparently, “ambush marketing” — broadly defined as one company using an event for marketing despite the fact that another company is actually shelling out the bucks to sponsor the event – has been with us for some time. The International Olympic Committee is sufficiently concerned that it requires potential host cities to guarantee that legislation will be in place to “reduce and sanction” ambush marketing. And it requires broadcasters who carry the Games to offer official sponsors the first refusal rights on advertising during Olympic programming. Of course, not everyone agrees that “ambush marketing” even violates trademark law. And others question whether any “ambush marketing” legislation would ever work. Maybe the IOC would agree to hand out a gold medal to any lawyer who’s able to write enforceable legislation. I’d have a much better shot at that medal than I would at the half pipe: