Back off, ambush marketers warned

2011-05-25 00:00

THE Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has warned that it will take a hard line on any ambush marketers this year.

The association says that it has noticed a growing trend of businesses to market themselves in a way that links to the race.

Ambush marketing is when businesses promote their products before, during and after an event with which they have no connection.

They aim to create the impression that they are part of a major event without paying the fees for sponsorship rights. This may include the use of trademarked Comrades wording and logos.

Gary Boshoff, general manager of the CMA, warned in a press statement, “Sponsors and suppliers invest considerable sums of money, manpower and products in the race and we will not allow non-sponsoring companies to use the race as a platform to market their products or services.

“If you are not a sponsor of the event it is illegal to try to create the impression that you are or that you are somehow associated with the Comrades Marathon.

“We will be obliged to use the full force of the law to act against transgressors.’’

Boshoff added, “Any person, business or organisation who has not obtained the written authority of the Comrades Marathon Association may be prosecuted in a court of law and in addition to this the court may award the cost of the action.”

On the day of the race the route will be monitored by police and a team of “route monitors” to spot any unauthorised marketing.

Illegal products will be confiscated, guilty parties removed from the route, and the CMA may institute legal proceedings.

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