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Tuesday29 July 2014

Government admits Olympic marketing ban won't be relaxed for months

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Angela Brady pleads with Sebastian Coe to step in

The Government has admitted it is not even trying to have the Olympic marketing ban overturned until the end of the year.

It said its negotiations with the British Olympic Association (BOA) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) will carry on into the autumn, once their immediate focus on the Games is over.

RIBA president Angela Brady denounced the admission as “totally wrong” and vowed to keep on fighting for Olympic architects’ right to promote their work.

RIBA president Angela Brady

RIBA president Angela Brady

She has written to Sebastian Coe, an honorary RIBA fellow, and John Armitt, chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA). The latter produced a report at the start of July recommending the restrictions be relaxed as soon as the Games are over.

“They [Coe and Armitt] are my last hope,” Brady told BD. “If Seb Coe can’t overturn it then no one can.

“I met him at an Olympic reception at the Irish Embassy six months ago and he said, ‘If there’s anything I can do, Angela…’. Well there is and I’ve told him so.

“The end of the year’s no good. All eyes are on London right now. I want the architects to be able to stand proudly in front of their buildings and talk about them to international TV crews.

“These rules are against the whole spirit of the Olympics. Crushing the small guy is just not on.”

Earlier this week Brady and New London Architecture chairman Peter Murray persuaded culture minister Ed Vaizey to don a T-shirt emblazoned with the names of all the practices at a function at the British Business Embassy. Brady also hosted a briefing for international journalists with Olympic architects at the RIBA this week.

The Government statement said: “The building of the Olympic Park and other Games venues for London 2012 has been a great success story for the UK. We understand and support the reasons why restrictions have been in place to protect the marketing exclusivity of London 2012 sponsors.

“Government, however, is committed to working with relevant partners, most notably the BOA and through them the IOC, to find a way to ensure that contractors and sub-contractors can seek a form of recognition of their superb contribution to the Games to support them in competing for new contract opportunities.

“DCMS is in discussion with the BOA and hopes to have a workable solution in place through which supplier companies can make reference to the work they have undertaken by the end of 2012. The discussions will run into the autumn given the immediate focus of both the Government and the BOA/BPA on delivering a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

 

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Readers' comments (9)

  • urbansurgery

    But what recompense for the practices that did stump up the cash to support the London Olympics? There was no lock-out from the option to do so. Not paying money isn't making a stand for fair-play.

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  • Any other country would be maximising this opportunity to showcase their indigenous talent to a global audience. Why, especially in this tough economic climate, are those of us who have contributed (and in some cases actually donated) to the success of 2012 being straight-jacketed and gagged?

    The whole thing stinks.

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  • re we as a profession to allow this injustice? The restiction is totally unreasonable and unacceptable. I have sat and watched in wonder at the various events and the skill and expertise of those responsible for being part of such success particularly at the architects contribution at producing these imaginative facilities that work on time withijn budget. The remoteness from the promotion interests of the sponsors of the overall Olympics would make the ban unenforcable in law if indeed they would risk the bad publicity that would stem from that action. They have already accepted that degree or remoteness is applicable. Talking is not working and will go on without results until the so called ban expires. The unfairness is obious and should be challengedin a way it will be widely ventilated in all the media. It would be a story they could not resist. It may be difficult for some of the architects involved to risk this as some may be seen to be in breech of contract.
    The RIBA is not in that situation. They should publish immediately a complete list of the architects involved in the various Olympic facilities and get this publicised as widely as possible. One way they could do this would be to announce very publically a public competition for thedesin of the most outstanding buildings in various catagories asking the public - particularly those who have attended the Olympic events to vote for the best in the various catagories. The media will run with this and I doudt if any of the sponsors would risk bad pblicity in challenging this and taking action against the RIBA. They sponsor to get goodwill not the opposite.
    Owen Luder CBE PPRIBA

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  • “These rules are against the whole spirit of the Olympics. Crushing the small guy is just not on.”

    Populous, Zaha and Hopkins would probably be more annoyed at being called "the small guy" than they are about the advertising ban!

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  • What I can't understand is WHY they don't want the architects publicising their work. What on earth could be reason?

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  • re... THE reason.

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  • Good point, Owen.

    So far, ZHA, Hopkins and Populous have garnered, by default, enormous free publicity. A concerted RIBA "outing" campaign could balance the situation in favour of the (let's be honest, more deserving) gagged majority.

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  • zecks_marquise

    I'm sorry but everyone signed up to these contracts. Pipe down and jog on

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  • james francis

    Owen Luder, i congratulate you for you well thought out comment on this issue. I suppose there is no chance you would run for RIBA president again?

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