Cricket Australia’s Big Ben Ashes Ambush

Cricket Australia, the governing body of Aussie cricket, beamed a pre-Ashes taunting slogan on to that esteemed symbol of British power – The Palace Of Westminster’s Big Ben Clock Tower.


Is nowhere sacred from ambush activity anymore?


The faces of Australia’s captain and vice captain (Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke) were projected on to the landmark alongside the copy line “Don’t forget to pack the urn”.


The aim was to generate some pre series banter and to settle a score from a similar incident four years ago which saw pro English Sky Sports ambush projections onto Sydney Harbour bridge.


Perhaps wary of the possibility that the London 2012 Olympic Games will lead to an avalanche of such activity, Westminster Council threatened Cricket Australia with legal action. The councillors, wary of the need to set an example prior to the Olympics, described the guerrilla marketing projection as “inappropriate and insulting” and initially threatened to prosecute and fine Cricket Australia £2,500 for breaching the Town and Country Planning Act.


More recently London’s Newham Council (the nearest to the 2012 Stratford Olympic Park) has already warned the owner of the small Café Olympic over its illegal use of the Olympic name.




How far can rights champions go to protect their platforms? Legislation is getting tougher and tougher.


New Zealand has passed stringent laws to ban ambush marketing at this year’s Rugby World Cup next year and the London Olympic Games act says anyone found guilty of ambush marketing could face a £20,000 fine. Under Olympic legislation the use of the Olympic name and symbols is prohibited and a long list of protected words (such as Olympians, Olympiad, Games, 2012, London, gold, silver, bronze and medals) can’t be used in conjunction with one another.


At the moment the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) claims to be focusing on a pragmatic and educational approach rather than a litigious one. But LOCOG has more power than any previous organising committee to prevent individuals and businesses violating sponsors’ rights so ambushers will have to tread carefully in London.

What some see as breaking the law and underpinning the commercial success of an event, other marketers consider a creative opportunity. The debate will continue.





Cricket Australia > www.cricket.com.au


Sky Sports > Flintoff Sydney Harbour Bridge > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UnDXD5XmYxs

Leave a comment


Featured Showcases

Leave a comment