No advertisements or logos are allowed in the Olympics, yet big-time sponsor BMW gets to hustle Minis all through the throwing events with their R/C retriever cars. The Olympic Committee claims this isn't advertising, which is total bullshit.


Many argue that the German-designed, German owned BMW Mini isn't sufficiently British to qualify as "an incredibly known, globally, British icon," which would make them exempt from Rule 50 in the Olympic Charter, which says:

No form of advertising or other publicity shall be allowed in and above the stadia, venues and other competition areas which are considered as part of the Olympic sites. Commercial installations and advertising signs shall not be allowed in the stadia, venues or other sports grounds.

In a press conference, the International Olympic Committee's director of TV and marketing services Timo Lumme denied there's any advertising going on.

Yes, [BMW] happens to be the official partner of the London Games but there is no commercial delivery... The Mini is an incredibly known globally, British icon. Again Rule 50 compliant. No logos.


Even though there are no Mini logos on the R/C retrievers, it's absolutely clear that these new, German-owned Minis constitute advertising.

We, however, don't see a better, British alternative for the retrievers. The London Olympics could use Land Rovers or Jaguars, but they're owned by Indians. They could use Aston Martins, but they're owned by Dubai businessmen, and Rolls Royce and Bentley are just as German as Mini. There's the MG, but they're Chinese. Maybe the Brits shouldn't have sold off their entire car industry.


Either the Olympics go with little wooden Morgans, or just stick with the Bavarian Minis that everyone knows and likes.


Photo Credit: Getty Images

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