Archive | October 5, 2010

Ambush Marketing: It’s all about perspective

October 5, 2010

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The CMO Council just published an article Kris and I wrote entitled, ‘Ambush Marketing: It’s all about perspective’ in its Doing Away With Foul Play Report. Here are a few excerpts:


How one sees ambush marketing depends upon the eyes of the beholder. Much like the famous perception test designed by Harvard psychologist Edwin Boring where some viewers see a young woman while others see an old woman, how ambush marketing is viewed depends upon what side of the fence you sit. Some marketers may view it as illegal and unethical, while others see it as a necessary and sufficient practice in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

How marketers and lawyers view ambush marketing is ultimately a matter of perspective. Marketers see opportunity and seek to exploit it, to get as close as possible to the line without crossing it. Lawyers, in turn, are on the lookout for marketing campaigns that get too close to the line. It is the duty of inhouse lawyers to rein in their marketers when they get too close for comfort, and it is the corresponding responsibility of Crown counsel and lawyers for the competition to detect when the ambush marketer crosses the line and is in breach of the law.

Given the complex relationship between marketing and the law, as well as some companies’ preparedness to capitalize upon unauthorized associations with mega-events, it should come as no surprise that some of the world’s largest companies – including Puma, Kodak and Pepsi – have been both on the giving and receiving end of an ambush.


The full article is here

The link to the full report is

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