But restrictions on firms publicising involvement in Games unlikely to be eased until the end of the year

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David Cameron has said it is “vital” that the Olympic marketing restrictions do not block companies from capitalising on their successful involvement in the Games.

The prime minister’s intervention in a speech on the benefits of the Olympics to the UK economy came as Sir John Armitt, chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) published his government-commissioned report on lessons that can be learnt from the London 2012 construction project.

In his speech today, David Cameron praised the success of firms involved in delivering the London 2012 construction project and said the UK economy could derive over £13bn in benefits from the Games.

However, he also addressed the controversial No Marketing Rights Protocol, enforced by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

Building has used its 2012 campaign to highlight complaints from firms that the marketing protocol has gagged them as they seek to capitalise on their Olympic achievements.

The prime minister said the government was working with the British Olympic Association and the IOC “to make sure Olympic marketing rules do not get in the way”.

“It’s vital we don’t allow rules on Olympic marketing to block companies from making the most of that success,” he said.

However, it is understood that a solution may not be in place until the end of the year, months after the Games have finished.

Sir John’s report, which was published today, calls for “urgent action to ensure that marketing restrictions applying to London 2012 suppliers are relaxed as soon as possible” after the Games.

The report, attached below right, also calls for the Olympic Delivery Authority’s (ODA) approach to procurement and programme management to be used for all public projects worth more than £10 million.

Building first revealed in March that Sir John would call for a relaxation of the protocol after the Games in his report to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

The report said “the restrictions on companies marketing their own involvement in the London 2012 project are a barrier to future success and prosperity”.

The report added: “Government should take urgent action to ensure that marketing restrictions applying to London 2012 suppliers are relaxed as soon as possible after the conclusion of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”

The report, which surveyed construction firms who worked on the Games with 276 companies contributing to its findings, also found that smaller contractors involved in the Games “have not enjoyed the same degree of success as larger businesses, and do not have the same optimism and confidence about the future”.

Sir John said: “The next 12 to 18 months represent a crucial window of opportunity for UK businesses to capitalise on their involvement in the project, particularly in terms ofsecuring work on other major sports events - a fast-growing sector that is creating many new opportunities.”

Sir John Armitt’s recommendations:

  • Government should adopt the principles of the procurement and programme management approach used by the ODA for all public sector projects valued at over £10m - including recognising the benefits of a ‘balanced scorecard’ approach to procurement, incorporating other criteria like sustainability and health and safety, in addition to time, cost and quality.
  • UKTI should build on its existing and past work promoting British business achievements in delivering major sporting events - for instance by creating a small task force, drawing in the expertise of London 2012 contractors of all sizes, to target major overseas opportunities and work to ensure British companies can compete for, and win, contracts.
  • Government and business organisations should explore new ways to ensure that small and medium-sized enterprises are fully aware of the support available when working overseas, through better promotion of existing sources of information about international assistance, and investigation of new channels to reach a wider audience.
  • A comprehensive marketing tool should be created to promote the success of UK plc, Government and its agencies, and individual companies, in building the venues and infrastructure for the London 2012 Games.
  • Government should take urgent action to ensure that marketing restrictions applying to London 2012 suppliers are relaxed as soon as possible after the conclusion of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
  • The CompeteFor network should be retained for all public sector projects, givenfresh promotion and its database expanded.
  • The ODA’s Learning Legacy website should be continued after the Games and broadened to include other successful projects.
  • The Department for Education and examination bodies should encourage learning about successful British delivery of major projects like London 2012 in business, built environment, geography, and related courses.