Articles From the Team

Beware the Olympics 2012 (and the Cookie Monster)

This year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games should prove interesting for companies using online social media services such as twitter as part of their marketing campaigns.  Lord Coe came out on the Andrew Marr show last weekend to defend the strict policing of the use of Olympics related terms and images, saying that these controls are essential for the UK in affording to host the games.  For example, the terms “Games” and “2012” cannot be used together and equally you cannot use these terms in conjunction with “Gold”, “London” or even “Summer”.  And companies need to pay attention, as breaking the rules could result in a £20,000 fine.

Our latest seminar with Addleshaw Goddard should help to clarify things.  “Business in the Technology Age” will take place from 9am on 24 May 2012 (with breakfast served from 8.30am). Addleshaw Goddard’s James Whittaker (Partner) and Rebecca Moore (Associate) will be speaking about the latest developments of relevance to businesses trading and marketing online.  James is a technology, media and IP rights specialist.  He was involved in advising the organisers of the 2002 Commonwealth Games, so is well placed to advise about the position on association with major sporting events such as the Olympics and Euro 2012.  E-commerce and associated marketing campaigns are of course powerful tools, but companies do need to be aware of the increasing regulation in this area.

Also of relevance to many companies with an online presence is a set of new website privacy laws, which have been criticised for undermining the business of online traders.  Companies could face fines of anything up to £500,000 if they fail to meet these tough new “cookie rules”, which come into effect the day after the seminar – 25 May 2012.  Website visitors will need to give permission for the website to download cookies, or files which gather information about the visitor’s online activity, but some retailers are worried about annoying customers with yet another request for permission…

Alongside these two interesting examples, the session will also cover social media and promotional tweets, the Consumer Protection Regulations, the OFT’s enforcement priorities on misleading pricing and behavioural marketing.  If this is of interest, please contact Lauren Field at BCL Legal. Follow the event on twitter #bclevents #bclinhouseAG We look forward to seeing you!


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