No lenience for ambush marketers

The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA), its legal services team and security service providers will deal firmly with ambush marketers in the build-up to Comrades as well on race day.

With the 93rd edition of the race taking place on Sunday, 10 June, CMA General Manager, Chris Fisher has again issued a forceful warning to so-called ‘ambush marketers’.  Fisher says the CMA has noticed the accelerating trend of ambush marketing tactics being used at the Comrades Marathon in the recent past and this will not be tolerated.

Illegal and unsavoury marketing practices employed by businesses and individuals to market and promote their branded products and services in the run-up to the Comrades Marathon, during the event and even thereafter is what we have to curtail”, says Fisher. He adds, These businesses and individuals have no legal link to the Comrades Marathon; but illegally exploit the event as a marketing platform for their products and services.

Fisher has warned that the unauthorized use of Comrades Marathon registered trademarks such as the brand itself as well as the terms “Comrades Marathon”, “The Ultimate Human Race” and the “Figure of Hermes”, the official registered logo of the Comrades Marathon is illegal, saying. The CMA prides itself on protecting its trademarks which have been registered with the Registrar of Trademarks in Pretoria and have also been registered in terms of the Heraldry Act No. 18/1962.

He concludes, The CMA is totally against ambush marketing. Our sponsors and partners make huge investments in our event and brand not only in terms of money, but in terms of manpower and products; and we will not have non-sponsoring companies use the race or brand as a platform to market their products or services. If we catch you, we will name and shame you.

The Comrades route will be monitored by the SAPS and a team of specially trained ‘route monitors/ brand sheriffs’ to identify unauthorized marketing activities on race day. Such officials will confiscate illegal products and the guilty parties will be removed from the route. The CMA as well as its sponsors and partners reserve their right to institute legal proceedings where it is deemed to be necessary.