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Industry welcomes easing of 2012 Olympics ad rules

LONDON - The IPA and Advertising Association has welcomed House of Lords amendments to the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics bill regarding official sponsor's rights, which will spare advertisers automatic £20,000 fines.

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The IPA, which had been lobbying parliament since June 2005 to ensure the Olympics Bill balanced protection of official sponsor's rights with genuine freedom of commercial expression, had previously expressed concerns about the bill's effect on local businesses.

The most significant change will see the reinstatement of the normal presumption of innocence regarding advertising infringements. However, the bill still means that only official Olympic sponsors will be able to associate themselves with the London 2012 games.

Prior to the change, advertisers thought to be unofficially associating themselves with the games and which used a "Come to London in 2012" slogan, for example, would receive a fine of up to £20,000 for an automatic infringement.

Marina Palomba, IPA legal director, said: "The IPA, with aid of the Advertising Association, has been expressing concern over the bill for many months and now looks forward to a constructive working relationship with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games over finalising guidelines for implementation of new London Olympics association right."

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