They call it “ambush” marketing… dun dun dunnn. With the 2010 Winter Olympics about kick off in Vancouver, naturally one would imagine the entire city is eagerly hoping to bank off all the surrounding hoopla. So exciting! But one biz in particular has caught major flack from pushing their “cheer” a bit too far. Yes, everyone’s favorite stretch-tasticly inflated yoga brand, Lululemon has once again caused some uncomfortable chafing. This time in their home town! VANOC (Vancouver Organizing Committee) and mega-honcho sponsors of the Winter Games are none too pleased with the lollies latest gear, which they claim rips off the official merchandise.
Lululemon, like many other non-sponsors of the Olympics, is marketing some designs that tread suspiciously close to the Vancouver 2010 theme — naming a line of T-shirts, hoodies and mittens in honour of Cool Sporting Event That Takes Place in British Columbia Between 2009 & 2011 — while cleverly skirting the marketing bylaws put in place by VANOC, Vancouver’s organizing committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Uh oh! We know it’s Canada, but there are rules to be followed! Though said rules and bylaws get a little murky when it comes to marketing, the penalties are quite clear, and hefty at that – “copyright infringement is a federal offence [sic] covered under the Canadian criminal code; penalties for indictable offences include fines of up to $1-million and imprisonment for a maximum of five years. VANOC also has the right to prosecute ambush marketers in civil court and seek damages.” yowch!