Warning over fake Olympic goods
Published on 22nd May 2012
With the London 2012 Olympic Games just weeks away, Sandwell Council trading standards officers are warning people to make sure they are not "ripped off" on the run-in to the big event.
Cabinet member for neighbourhood services Councillor Derek Rowley said: "In a few weeks time, on 30 June, the Olympic Torch Relay will be making its way through the borough.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the torch, which is associated with the world's greatest sporting event and a great opportunity for Sandwell.
"Unfortunately there will be some people who view this as an opportunity to make money in an unscrupulous ways. "
Consumers need to be aware of how to avoid counterfeit goods:
- Do not buy Olympic branded products unless they have the associated hologram either on a swing tag or affixed to the item. The 2012 hologram flickers between London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic emblems.
- Only purchase goods from conventional sources, avoid buying from the 'man-in-the-pub' or on the 'street corner', whose full name you don't know, who you have never met before and who you are unable to contact again.
- Whenever you buy, always try and get an itemised and dated receipt showing any VAT paid and the VAT registration number.
- Be suspicious of prices that are too cheap for famous named goods which have the Olympic brand attached to them.
Trading standards are warning businesses that any Olympic branded goods or association with the Olympics is very closely controlled.
LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games) is clear that use of the marks in any commercial advertising or promotion or in any way that benefits an organisation commercially is not permitted.
Protected symbols and logos should not be used without authorisation, and Olympics-related words should not be used in a way that could be seen as promoting or advertising a particular organisation or activity, even if it is non-commercial, or in a way that implies association with the Olympics or Paralympics.
The use of some marks such as "Olympic, Olympian, Olympiad" can only be used in connection with a business if it has been in continuous use prior to 1995.
Bob Charnley, Sandwell Council's trading standards manager, said: "There may be cases where the unauthorised use of protected marks is the result of pure enthusiasm for the Games without consideration of commercial benefit or understanding of the law.
"In such cases, we will take a proportionate approach. But it is clear that unauthorised use, especially by businesses or for any purpose with even a hint of commercialism, is not permitted."
Unauthorised use of a number of other words, defined under the London Olympic Games and Paralympic Games Act 2006, could also infringe rights if they are "likely to create in the public mind an association" between the Games and the person using the word or that person's goods, services or activities.
Businesses can seek further advice from trading standards by ringing 0845 359 7522 or 0845 330 3313.
Consumers can reports the sale of fakes by contacting the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline 0845 4040506.
You can also visit the London 2012 website.