Hande Hançar and Baran Güney has contributed to the Turkey chapter of Ambush Marketing: A Global Legal Perspective book which is published by Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA) in January 2021.
A global legal compendium of the laws related to ambush marketing in approximately 70 countries around the globe. Written by members of the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA) a network of the leading advertising lawyers in the world.
'Ambush marketing': A controversial marketing practice involving unofficial association or intrusion that pits non-sponsors against event producers, official sponsors, and other rights holders. Even though ambush marketing campaigns are quite prevalent, most countries do not, in fact, have specific legislation designed to address the practise. Some countries have adopted more specific legislation to guard against ambush marketing where the event owners (such as the International Olympic Committee and FIFA) have pushed for the enactment of highly-restrictive event-based legislation in order for a locality to obtain the rights to produce the event - these include Brazil, Russia, and South Korea (when each hosted the Olympic Games), and Italy (which will host the Olympic Games in 2026). Without specific rules governing typical ambush marketing practises around the world, official sponsors, the so-called 'ambush marketers', and the owners of events themselves must look to traditional intellectual property and unfair competition laws to determine what each party can and cannot do.
One reason ambush marketing may not be specifically outlawed is that it is hard to define. Is the use of generic imagery of a sport or entertainment event by a non-sponsor an 'ambush' or even illegal? And should it be? Is a brand an 'ambusher' of the Olympic Games or the FIFA World Cup even though it sponsored several national teams or individual athletes? And what about new technology: is a filter or 'skin' within a social media app featuring advertising from a non-sponsor and which is triggered when the app user enters an event venue considered an ambush? These are critical questions that challenge the current legal frameworks around the world.
Ambush marketing is most often thought of in the context of sporting events, but it is certainly not limited to that field. Popular entertainment events and notable international events, such as the Academy Awards, the Grammys, 'fashion week' runway shows, and royal weddings, also generate a fair share of ambush marketing activity.
The practise of ambush marketing does not appear to be going away any time soon. As recent actions by the Australian and US Olympic Committees, the Danish Football Union, the regulatory body of the Russian Federation, and the US' National Collegiate Athletic Association show, ambush marketing and the enforcement against it is still a hot button issue.
This guide, which updates GALA's 2014 edition, summarizes the laws, rules, and regulations governing ambush marketing in 68 countries. The guide addresses legal considerations, regulatory considerations, commercial considerations, and recent enforcement actions in the field of ambush marketing.
Christopher R. Chase
Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, PC