The Irish bookmaker Paddy Power took legal action against the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) because of their promotion on an egg and spoon race in London, France.
Paddy Power – the sponsors of this event which involves athletes carrying an egg balanced on a spoon for 200 metres – placed a billboard promoting the event in some of the main stations around London (UK), as London Bridge, Kings Cross and Victoria.
A spokesperson for Paddy Power declared:
“It’s an honour to support the biggest athletics event in London this year. We’re looking forward to a competitive and fun event where our athletes can wear, eat and drink whatever they want!”
The LOCOG ordered JCDecaux, the outdoor advertising company who rented three of their billboards to Paddy Power, to take down the ads. They justified that Paddy Power is not an official sponsor of the Olympic Games therefore they cannot mention the games. Just the official sponsors: BA, BT, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s and Adidas can do it. On the other hand the International Olympic Committee forbids all kind of promotion of betting companies to this event; see the Article A5 of the IOC Code of Ethics.
To deal with the situation Paddy Power asked their legal firm Charles Russell to defend their campaign and to enter the High Court in London with its own court order against LOCOG. As they explained their ads are not talking about the Olympic Games, they were just promoting an egg and spoon race in a French city called London so.
Finally on the 25th of July, Freshfields, the law firm of the LOGOG reported that Paddy Power could continue with the campaign.