Sir John Armitt says contractors can work around Olympic no marketing protocols

The chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority has said firms needed to use their imagination rather than complain about the strict Olympic no marketing protocols.

The rules on marketing, laid down by the London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), are designed to protect exclusivity for official sponsors but have prompted complaints that they prevent construction firms from promoting their work on the Games.

But this week Sir John Armitt told Building that contractors could work around the rules.

“In many ways I think the complaining is all a bit overdone. It just needs a bit of imagination,” he said.

Building reported last month that the prime minister has asked Olympics minister Hugh Robertson to look into complaints that firms involved in building London’s Olympic park are being prevented from taking “due credit”.

This followed a call-to-arms on the issue by Peter Murray, New London Architecture boss, in Building. Firms such as Olympic stadium engineer Buro Happold backed Murray’s complaint that LOCOG is being unduly strict in protecting the marketing rights of sponsor firms such as Populous and Atkins.

But Armitt said the protocol did not prevent the media from reporting on a firm’s involvement in the Games.

“Firms can’t take out a two-page centre spread with the Olympic rings and logo over the top of their company name, but I can’t imagine that’s what they want to do anyway,” he said.

“We have to recognise that many companies have spent millions of pounds as formal sponsors and it’s not fair on them if anyone else can jump on bandwagon using the Olympic logos.”