I call it a good start.

Ignore That Logo Under the Tape!
To ensure that only the companies that pay millions of dollars to be official Olympic sponsors enjoy the benefits of exposure in Olympic venues, organizers have covered the trademarks of nonsponsors with thousands of little swatches of tape.

In media centers, dormitories and arena bathrooms, pieces of tape cover logos of fire extinguishers, light switches, thermostats, bedroom night tables, soap dispensers and urinals. The Taiden Industrial translation headsets in a large conference room have had their logos covered, as have the American Standard faucets in the bathrooms nearby, and the ThyssenKrupp escalators down the hall.

The International Olympic Committee says that such "brand protection" is essential for the Games to raise the corporate money that keeps them going and growing. The Games get 40% of their revenue from sponsors, with the rest coming from broadcast rights, ticketing and licensing. Sponsors of China's Games, believed to be the most lucrative ever, have contributed some $1.5 billion in cash, goods and services, estimates sports-marketing group Octagon.

The IOC says the brand-protection practices here in Beijing are consistent with procedures at past Olympics. Actual enforcement of IOC sponsorship-protection rules falls mostly to whichever city is hosting the Games, however, and by some indications no host has taken that role more seriously than China. In many cases, even products that don't compete with anything made by official sponsors are having their logos covered.

Previously, previously.

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9 Responses:

  1. fo0bar says:

    ... Urinals? I'm pretty sure if an unauthorized urinal brand is caught on film in the first place, you're doing something wrong.

  2. solarbird says:

    We live next to the Olympic Mountains, one of our two defining mountain chains. (Seattle is between the Olympics and the Cascades.) Vancouver is hosting the winter Olympics in 2010. The US government has granted the IOC sweeping rights over the word "Olympic" as a result. So of course ever since then the IOC has been all up in the faces of businesses which have been named Olympic <foo> for decades. There's an exemption for western Washington, but it assumes that none of these businesses will ever do business outside of that region, when in fact many of them do and long have.

    So that's a nice little clusterfuck of jackassery.

    • edlang says:

      "I am Yang of Bocog. Resistance is futile. Your life as it has been is over. From this time forward, you will service us."

  3. cdamian says:

    Everyone will recognise a Powerbook, a VW Beetle or a Coke bottle, even if you tape over the logo. This will be a lot easier once every movie is rendered.

    • jwz says:

      In Demolition Man they had that gag about how "now all restaurants are Taco Bell" (which, even though it was technically a product placement, was pretty funny). Apparently in the non-US releases, they overdubbed that with Pizza Hut.