British Airways has effectively spent 40 million pounds securing the right to show the Olympic logo on its planes ahead of London 2012, but smaller companies which unofficially try to plug the rings run the risk of getting into trouble with the authorities.
Dennis Spurr, who owns the high street butchers “The Fantastic Sausage Factory” in Weymouth where the Olympic sailing events will be held, received a phone call from Olympic heavies in London telling him to bring down his Games poster as the international logo is protected.
It featured the Olympic rings, shaped as sausages, below the word “fantastic”.
“I thought it was brilliant that Weymouth had got the Olympics,” he said.
“We are never going to see anything like that in Weymouth again. I was entering the spirit of it all.” But he was reported to the Olympic authorities and told to take it down.
“I did not want any legal action,” Spurr added.
“I thought it was poor of them though.”
But one business beyond the reach of the authorities despite getting more free publicity on the back of the Games than it could possibly hope for, or afford, is “Bar 2012?.
Also in Weymouth, it had the name more than two years before London won the bid to host the 2012 Olympics.
The bar wanted an exotic theme and went for 2012, the date on which the Maya civilisation predicted the world would come to an end, proprietor Jeremy Read explained.
Before that, it was called “The London”.
In fact, part of the London bid to stage the Games was launched from its premises at 20:12 on December 20, Read added.
The Sausage Factory affair has put him off trying to use any Olympic publicity — for a while.
“We tip-toed a little,” he said.
But Read said he planned trying something after this summer’s Beijing Olympics.
“I like the David versus Goliath scenario,” he said.
Prepare for an Olympic tussle.