The International Olympic Committee is extremely upset with the Bush campaign’s flagrant violation of their copyright. And they should be. The IOC earns a great deal of their revenues from the sale of the name Olympics and the Olympic rings symbol to advertisers. The Bush campaign used the copyrighted name Olympics in their advertising without permission, much less paying for the use of the word.
Furthermore, the Olympics endeavors to remain apolitical. The partisan use and abuse of the name weakens that effort.
Olympic officials are seething at a campaign ad for U.S. President George W. Bush which, they say, hijacks the Olympic brand.
“We are following what is happening and hope this campaign will stop,” said Gerhard Heiberg, head of the International Olympic Committee’s Marketing Commission.
“We own the rights to the Olympic name and nobody asked us,” he said while attending the Athens Olympics.
It is the U.S. Olympic Committee’s responsibility to protect the Olympic brand in the United States and Heiberg said they were taking steps to do so.
“The USOC took immediate action,” he said, without elaborating. “The USOC is dealing with this matter.”
But while Heiberg was diplomatic, other IOC members were blunt.
“This is quite amazing,” one member said on condition of anonymity. “The arrogance is unbelievable. To use the Olympic name like this, without permission… it’s just incredible.”
Another said: “That anyone should do this is just astonishing.”
Their Swift Boat Liars ad has backfired on the campaign, and now their Olympic ad is blowing up as well.