Brand Exclusion Zone

olydollars The Olympic Games promote nationalism and corporate capitalism. As such, they are squarely on the TCT hate list.

And dig this. According to Advertising Age, the upcoming London version of the Olympics will feature a 35-day “brand exclusion zone” around all its venues:

To protect sponsors, a 35-day, one-kilometer Brand Exclusion Zone will be enforced around all Olympic venues, inside which no brands that compete with official sponsor brands can advertise. It’s not just ads — spectators wearing competitor-branded clothing, or consuming unofficial food or drink choices, or even trying to pay with the wrong credit card, will not be welcome. For road events such as the marathon and some of the cycling, the exclusion zone extends to two meters on either side of the track.

The U.K. passed new legislation in 2006, giving the Olympics and their sponsors an extra level of protection beyond existing copyright and contract law. The biggest change is the clampdown on “association,” so that only sponsors can use the words “games,” “2012,” “twentytwelve” or “two thousand and twelve.”

Even social media — which most brands have long since given up trying to police — is not free from Olympic control. Twitter shut down the account of satirical activist group Space Hijackers after [the London Olympics Organizing Committee] complained about the use of its logo (while also claiming it did not mind the content).

The enforcement of such rules? A “700,000-strong volunteer corps” will be out reporting violations.

11 Replies to “Brand Exclusion Zone”

  1. The “olympic flame” came to Belfast and my six year old boy wanted to see it. I wasn’t expecting the sickening display of in-your-face marketing that was foisted on those in attendance with the full support of the city council. In rational terms , what do a carbonated sugar-bomb product and a mobile phone product have to do with a sporting event? A naive question, I know. All of which leads me to concur with the sentiments expresed in the photograph above and fuck coca-cola too. I heard on a radio report that a group of runners are doing an olympic run without the vandalism … i mean sponsors. good for them.

  2. It’s a shame the athletes are forced to peddle the rotten values in order to participate. Of course, many of them are fully on board with it.

    Justin, who were the ones who ran their own approach? It might be a group to root for.

  3. Fuck these guys.

    Michael, this is OT, but I wonder what is your take on Kunstler? He seems to be among the most ardent peak oilers, and in predicting a collapse very shortly, he seems to be primarily targeting “the stupid american public”.

    He’s a strange, and potentially tragic character – his ideas are certainly correct and not novel, but I wonder if his lack of appropriate background and exceedingly combative style do not turn off people who could otherwise be listening? I am already scared sh*tless, and the endless berating isn’t really helping…

    Quaint suggestions about building cooperative and sustainable local communities are just plain bullshit given that most of the land in the country is owned by a few bug-eyded douchebags, whose first order of business will be to weaponize and violently crush the confused local masses, rather than engage in any “cooperation”…

  4. TD, I quite enjoy Kunstler’s ability to cut to the chase about oil, cars, suburbia, and urban planning, so I tend to overlook the fact that he is not much of a sociologist at a deeper level. He’s certainly also been predicting an implosion for some long time now, too, and I’m not sure capitalism is that fragile, though it might be. I just read him for what he does so well. His writing is also bracing and jargon-free, so that’s another big plus. I’m actually hoping he’ll blurb my car book, when I finally finish it.

  5. Yeah, better get this book out, we’ve been waiting, ha! (While you are polishing it, the car commercials keep rolling)

    It may not be so hard to get people to pay attention to the car issue. Although my experience (as an immigrant from a place more civilized in some respects) is not typical, I was never able to fully accept to the car based lifestyle in spite of having resigned and ostensibly adjusted – after 10 years it is harder, not easier to deal with it.

    Anyhow, my point is that it is not that hard to get people to see the monstrosity of the arrangement (which is where a bitch-slaps like Kunstler’s really help). Perhaps the hard part is to convince them that a change is possible, and this is where things usually falter…

    Among so many other things, just take the delusion that car=freedom. Taking a trip with a car exposes you to so many opportunities to be unfree (stranded) than a public transportation: 1) tire/mechanical problems 2) availability of gas/ability to pay, 3) the large personal cost to get out of any car-related problems if they happen (wait and pay for a tow truck, wait and pay for a repair). All you gain is some flexibility in scheduling your trip, at the expense of being far more vulnerable and “unfree” relative to public transportation that will minimize any typical contingencies…

  6. Thanks for the encouragement, TD. It helps to think people are waiting for me. Alas, I tend to be a pretty slow writer. As with The Consumer Trap, I’ve also found it incredibly hard to trying strike the right notes in both the introduction and the opening chapter, which explains why capitalists are addicted to car-selling. The ideology in these areas is very heavy and also highly successful. Hence, there are so many ways to lose readers, if one doesn’t pay minute attention to presentation. It’s also taken me a long time to feel solid with the whole energy and physics dimension of the car topic.

    I’m definitely on the downhill run, though….

  7. Hi Michael

    It’s called The Real Relay – details at

    This is from an article about their run:

    “They decided their Endurancelife Real Relay would follow the entire route of the official Olympic Torch around the British Isles in one continuous journey, running every step of the way.

    The relay began at Land’s End on 28 May, ten days behind the official Olympic Torch. Hundreds of people are running day and night to reach London in time for the Olympics opening ceremony.

    The 8,000-mile route is broken down into hundreds of stages. Most are ten miles but the route includes several stages that are up to 100 miles in distance. More than 170 runners have taken part so far.

    Runners are required to navigate their own way between the start and finish of their stage. There is no support crew leading the way or following behind. The only condition, according to organisers, is that they must go via the communities visited by the official Olympic Torch relay.

    Barker told Event that his team were inspired by the Olympic Torch relay to do it in the “true Olympic spirit”.

    BTW, any news of the book? I’m looking forward to it.

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