Source: The Daily Telegraph

Hundreds of uniformed officials will tour Britain to ensure businesses do not flout advertising regulations by associating themselves too closely with the Olympic Games, it has been claimed.

The London 2012 “brand army” will monitor shops, clothing companies and food stores to clamp down on the use of select phrases which may adversely affect official sponsorship deals.

The officers, who will wear purple caps and tops to identify themselves, will be entrusted with protecting exclusive marketing deals between the Games and its multinational sponsors.

Under legislation designed for the London 2012 Olympics, they will be able to bring court action against any business breaking the strict rules, with potential punishments including fines up to £20,000.

British businesses have already been warned not to align themselves too closely with the Games in order to cash in on the tourist trade and make the most of public excitement.

The officials, experts in advertising and trade employed by the Olympic Delivery Authority, are reported to be monitoring a list of banned words, including “gold”, “summer”, “sponsors” and “London”.

A spokesman for the Olympic Delivery Authority told the Independent newspaper: “We are using experienced local authority staff who currently enforce street trading and advertising legislation. They have all been fully trained.

“Deliberate ambush offences will be dealt with using the full enforcement powers conferred on officers.”