Tuesday, 21 October 2014
Advanced search

A success story that can’t be told

Some readers might be surprised that with the 2012 Olympics  now just months away, The Engineer isn’t awash with stories of how engineers will help deliver this summer’s centrepiece.

After all - when London won the bid to host the Olympics -  it wasn’t just the sport that got people talking. The event would, everyone agreed,  put the skills and expertise of hundreds of UK companies on a world stage, and deliver untold economic benefits for many years to come.

And while some might be tempted to view the paucity of Olympic engineering stories as evidence that all is not well in Stratford, there is little to suggest  that London’s 2012 plans are anything other than a success story.

From one of the lightest and most efficient Olympic stadiums ever built, to a host of stunning new venues and an unimaginably complex network of tunnels, bridges, roads and power infrastructure, London’s Olympic project is on time and on budget.

Unfortunately the majority of the companies behind this success story aren’t allowed to talk about it.

The sticking point is the London 2012 “No Marketing Rights Protocol”, a contract that forbids companies working on London 2012 from marketing their involvement in the games.

Drawn up to protect the interests of the Olympic’s main sponsors, it’s a startlingly proscriptive document.  Suppliers are forbidden from talking to media about work on games, even warned against referring too enthusiastically to the Olympics involvement in internal memos, and generally stripped of any opportunity to gain much advantage from their association with the games.

‘The ODA want businesses through the supply chain to be proud of the contribution they are making toward the success of the games’ reads the document. It might as well as add ‘so long as they don’t tell anyone about it’

With 6 months to go, there’s still time to address this, and to help ensure that UK businesses, and the UK economy, can extract maximum advantage from its involvement in the Olympics.

The government must work now with Olympic authorities to help ensure that UK businesses can talk more freely about their role in London 2012. Failure to make this happen will be a failure to deliver on the promised economic legacy of the games.

Readers' comments (30)

  • So all success is Lord Coe's success then, not the contractors. Perhaps he hopes to be King Coe next?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • What's prompted this up the news agenda today? This is a problem I (and I'm sure many others within the PR industry) have encountered time after time over the last few years. Clients excited at the prospect of Olympic involvement only to be thwarted from telling their story by the ODA /LOCOG rules about "ambush marketing" - rules that go back to at least 2008.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It has only been delivered on budget by increasing the value of the budget to suit what it costs to build. Well done Mr. Coe!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I have been so shocked at this news that I have written to my local MP, Mark Prisk (Con), asking how we are to promoted British industry if high profile chances like this are gagged.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This is just another case of "Power Corrupts, and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely". If these companies weren't in such a need for the work they should have told the Olympic Committee to go to Hell.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The companies of this country should be allowed, nay forced, to maximise the advertising potential from being involved in the 2012 Olympic Games. The country is spending billions of pounds to stage them and we should demand some payback both in the short term, but more importantly the long term, by increased manufacturing, sales, and employment.
    Unfortunately a lot of the wealth creation opportunity has already gone abroad with the tickets being sourced in USA and commemorative toys being sourced in China.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The 2012 Olympics is a once in a lifetime opportunity to promote UK businesses and increase overseas trade so you would have thought this would be a great opportunity to unite the technology industries and create a mega exhibition to promote UK PLC but what we have instead is "MAKE IT IN GREAT BRITAIN" the Government "campaign aiming to transform the image of modern British manufacturing and raise the awareness of its importance for the economy" which will place the best examples of UK manufacturing in a museum alongside the Dodo.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Three times the original budget. Not much to be proud of there.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Will companies be allowed to declare their input after the event is over? Everything should be done to encourage UK engineering. Perhaps the Olympic authorities should actually publish a list of the companies that have contributed to the success of the event.
    Currently engineering companies are very busy in this country from low-tech to the highest tech, the government should note the only real growth area the country has and support it by tax breaks and realistic employment laws for short to medium term employment.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • As nothing of this ridiculous situation has been revealed in the Main Media I am led to believe there is a conspiracy of silence that will once again leave us all at a disadvantage and deny us the truth on an all important issue. No surprise there then.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 per page | 20 per page | 50 per page

Have your say


Related images

My saved stories (Empty)

You have no saved stories

Save this article