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Olympic construction firms face marketing embargo until the end of the year

The relaxation of rules that limit the recognition London 2012 Olympic Games construction firms can seek is expected to take until the end of the year, according to the government’s response to a report by Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) chairman Sir John Armitt.

Armitt’s report, London 2012 – a Global Showcase for UK plc – calls on the government to take “urgent action” to ensure marketing restrictions imposed on construction firms as a result of Games sponsorship deals are relaxed as soon as possible.

He says that 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 of securing work on other major sports events, which he calls a fast-growing sector.

“These companies now have a unique window of opportunity, dramatically increased by the worldwide publicity for the Games, to make the most of a chance that may never come again in most of our lifetimes,” he says. “They must rise to the challenge again and make the most of this moment. The stardust will fade, memories will dim, other countries and our commercial rivals will become a new focus of attention. It is therefore vital that next steps become quick steps, to support business in this mission.”

The response from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport states, however, that it understands and supports the reasons for the restrictions. It adds that discussions with the British Olympic Association (BOA) to find a “workable solution” allowing firms to make reference to their involvement, would take until the autumn “given the immediate focus of both the Government and the BOA/BPA on delivering a successful Olympic and Paralympic Games”. As a result, it adds, it hopes to have a workable solution in place by the end of the year.

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
  • UK Trade and Industry 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, given fresh 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.


Readers' comments (1)

  • Once again we find ourselves either unable to, or incapable of, selling our services and achievements. As an industry we need to resolve this ridiculous situation and stop such as the giant market retailers and others tramping all over us......without construction the world goes is time that our importance becomes fully recognised and that we are rewarded accordingly.
    Jim Barrack

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