Landlords advertising properties on the classified advert website ‘Gumtree’ have been told that they cannot mention the Commonwealth Games in their adverts. The Commonwealth Games organisers have asked the website to remove all adverts which refer to the event so that tourists are not ‘misled’.
This is not without precedent in the UK, with Olympic officials being extra tough regarding advertising the games in London. During the Olympic Games run-up in 2012, bars and clubs could not even advertise that they were showing the events on TV. One bakery shop was famously asked to take down a display of bagels that represented the Olympic rings!
The media criticised the organisers for targeting landlords and small businesses and the Commonwealth organisers have received similarly negative responses to their heavy handed brand management.
A spokesperson for the Games, said: “Glasgow 2014 has a responsibility to ensure that unauthorised or fraudulent adverts are not perceived as having any official association with the Games and will only act in cases where we feel there may be confusion, or a danger of customers being misled.”
While the Commonwealth Games is so far receiving very positive attention in Glasgow, with landlords and local businesses looking forward to the tourism boost that the event will bring in the summer. Hotel rooms are predicted to be booked out in the weeks around the event, and landlords are raising their rents to take advantage of the demand for accommodation.
Countrywide, the UK’s largest residential property group, has predicted that rental properties could fetch between £2000 and £2500 a week during the games!
While it seems unlikely that prospective tourists would mistake an advert on Gumtree for an official listing by Commonwealth Games organisers, Luke Todd, Head of Customer Operations for the website, is taking the request very seriously. He released a statement to the Herald saying that Gumtree was “committed to protecting both buyers and sellers who use our site. As such, ads which infringe intellectual property rights, such as copyright and trademark rights, are not permitted on Gumtree.”
Gordon Arthur, Chief Communications Officer for the Games, took a softer view to the request. He made it clear that it was not the brand of the Games he wanted to protect, but the needs of the investors, and the safety of the visitors. He told The Drum: “What’s paramount for us is ensuring the protection of those who have invested heavily in the Games, while also making sure people’s experience is a good one.”