An International Look At Ambush Marketing

The Trademark Reporter
November-December, 2005

This article discusses the law of ambush marketing in eight countries around the world. While it is not a complete global survey, it provides a sampling of the approaches being taken to deal with this controversial advertising practice. First, ambush marketing is defined, and the most common methods of practicing it are explored. Next, the largely ambiguous legal state of ambush marketing in the United States is discussed, alongside an overview of the law in several other countries, including Canada, India, New Zealand, Argentina, and South Africa. The article then looks at Olympics-specific legislation and its use to prevent ambush marketing, including analysis of such laws in the U.S., Australia, and China. Creative tactics for preventing ambush marketing are explored, along with an examination of whether ambush marketing is indeed unethical or merely smart advertising. The article concludes that attention to this infrequently litigated practice is necessary on an international scale.

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