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Brazil ready for Olympics with new ambush marketing laws

Brazil recently amended its 2009 Olympic Act to protect official event sponsors from ambush marketers. The changes took effect on May 10, 2016, ahead of the Rio 2016 Games.
“Brazil has enacted tough new legislation to protect the Games from ambush marketers,” said Valdir Rocha, Partner of Veirano Advogados in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. “We expect that these new laws will be backed up with aggressive enforcement as well.”

The new law prohibits marketers from engaging in illegal ambush marketing activities. Specifically, the law prohibits:
  • “Ambush marketing by association,” which are marketing activities that directly or indirectly associate advertisers with the Olympics without authorisation.
  • “Ambush marketing by intrusion,” which are marketing activities that promote advertisers at the official Olympic sites without authorisation.

Because of the law’s reach, it is expected to give broad protection to the Olympics and official sponsors during the Games. Because the official Olympics sites encompass almost all of the city of Rio de Janeiro, the law’s prohibition on ‘ambush marketing by intrusion’ should prevent non-sponsors from marketing near the Games as well.

Marketers who violate Brazil’s ambush marketing restrictions may be subject to criminal penalties, including fines and jail time.

“As global marketers prepare to launch campaigns in Brazil during the Olympics, they should ensure that their advertising complies with Brazil’s tough new restrictions,” said Jeffrey A Greenbaum, Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance’s (GALA) chairman and managing partner of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz in New York.
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