Wednesday, 22 June 2011

SA's Ambush Marketing Laws - a template for global legislators?

It is a year to the week since the arrest of the so-called Bavaria Babes for alleged ambush marketing made media headlines across the world. Although the great interest and debate over ambush marketing laws in RSA at the time is now about as sleepy as a night clubber in church the morning after, it continues with great fervor in other parts of the globe - INTA's San Francisco conference in May whisked up keen interest over those dresses and London is abuzz with discussion ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games where draft regulations have just been published for public comment.

This Afro Leo has more than a passing interest in the subject since his post on Afro-IP ushered him into the fray a year ago. Recently he was asked to speak at workshop held in London on whether South Africa's legislation was a template for global legislators seeking to curb ambush marketing. He was joined by Ken McKay, Dr Belinda Isaac and David Abrahams in a lively and entertaining discussion at the LESI Annual conference.

Ken is a vastly experienced lawyer acting in the interests of the Olympic Games, Belinda runs her own firm in London and who will no doubt be advising on the local regulations in the time leading up to the Games and David, apart from running Brand Mediation, is an excellent facilitator.

This Afro Leo's thoughts though are quite simple. Making ambush marketing an offense whereby powers of arrest may be exercised is about as good at curbing ambush marketing as dousing a fire with paraffin. Arrests attract publicity and that is what ambush marketing is all about. Template no, dinner plate - yes. It is a pity too that our laws have not endured judicial rigor.

- Posted by Darren

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