Olympic Committee’s “heavy handed” approach to policing its brand?

The Globe and Mail has an interesting article today entitled Imperial ad campaign fuels ‘Olympic pretender’ complaints.

Apparently the CEO of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Committee held a news conference in Calgary yesterday and called on Imperial Oil Ltd. to pull Esso’s Cheer on Canada campaign. This is because, even though the Cheer on Canada campaign does not use the Olympic name nor the Olympic rings, it creates an association with the Olympic Games (at least according to the Committee).

A spokesman from Imperial Oil is quoted as saying that his company is “surprised and disappointed” at the Vancouver Olympic Committee’s “heavy handed” approach to policing its brand.

In the article, trade-mark lawyer Howard Knopf is also quoted as saying that the Canadian Olympic Association has a long history of pushing the law beyond its reasonable limits and that “Imperial Oil has the resources to stand up for its rights and I hope it does for its own sake and that of the public interest.”

So far no legal action by the Committee against Imperial Oil Ltd.

Update:
See also the CBC’s article Battle over Esso’s Olympic promotion for additional coverage.

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