If you feel strongly about the regulation of advertising and activity in public places around the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 then you have a chance to respond to a consultation that affects England, Wales and Scotland.
The UK Government has issued a consultation paper which is available here. Draft statutory instruments are available for each of Scotland, England and Wales and the consultation on the draft regulations is open until 30 May 2011.
The planned regulations will add to existing legislation which already regulates the display of advertisements and street trading as well as ambush marketing. There have been many high profile attempts to spoil official sponsorship of major sports events using ambush marketing; these range from sprinter Lindford Christie appearing at a press conference wearing contact lenses featuring the Puma logo (when Reebok was the official partner at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996) to 36 female Holland fans who were thrown out of the game against Denmark at the 2010 World Cup after FIFA officials accused them of wearing orange dresses to promote the Bavaria Beer Company when Budweiser was the official beer of the tournament.
The London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006 provides the framework for the proposed regulations which may apply to advertising activity of any kind, whether commercial or non-commercial and whether on public land or private property.
It is intended that advertising activity will be very broadly defined and will include such activities as displaying an advertisement on an animal or wearing clothing as part of an ambush marketing campaign. Clearly the regulators have learned from recent ambush marketing activities.
The regulations are also intended to apply to trading in open public places. Traders will need to have authorisation under the 2012 Olympic Games Regulations (and also under existing law) to carry out street trading in public places in the vicinity of Olympic or Paralympic events during certain time periods.
Lucrative sponsorships are absolutely key to the success of the Olympic games and Paralympics in 2012 and the Olympic Delivery Authority will wish to be vigilant. The ODA has said that it plans to employ a light touch approach to minor infringements although persistent offenders and significant ambush marketing could be taken all the way through the criminal courts.
With some bumper sporting events taking place in the UK over the coming years, including the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, the Ryder Cup and the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, it is perhaps not surprising that there is increasing regulation for specific events.