Brands that deserve to succeed, Mr Olympic Sausage

by Andrew Watson on 25 July 2012

Thanks for the pointer to this article from the lovely Sam Funnell at ARM. Mr Olympic Sausage sounds like one of those names you come up with for your porn star name by combining the name of your first pet with your mother’s maiden name. In my case Wyn Bolton (or, with the right emphasis, Wyn,after the great Wyn “the Leap” Davies) Bolt-on. Made me laugh anyway.

But no this Mr Olympic Sausage is “a butcher in a town hosting sailing events who had to remove a sign showing the Olympic rings made from sausages.”

Now I guess I would understand if I was Coca-Cola that if I’d paid close on $1bn to sponsor the Games over 4 years, I’d be justifiably miffed if Pepsi ads were then shown all over the main stadium and David Beckham dropped his shorts, a la Niklas Bendtner, and they were advertising the other cola.

But to apply this to Mr Olympic Sausage is just silly. We all know that the Games are now so huge that sponsors need to be attracted so that they can be financially viable. Though whether they need to turn so large a profit and be surrounded by corporate smoothing does somewhat offend my sense of what they are really all about.

But where Mr Olympic Sausage is concerned, what happened to common sense, what happened to that English sense of fair play and quirkiness, what happened to Boris’ wiff waff spirit? Do we have to kill all things that make life sweet and fun and are entirely within the spirit of the Games, just so that the Games’ official sausage sponsor (even if there is one) can say with certainty that they got their money’s worth.

As a former one, I smell the work of fundamentalist lawyers. This breed is precise to 28 decimal places, shows an alarming absence of common sense or commercial sense, becomes the deal rather than just writing it down, and, worse still, charges one arm and one leg for the displeasure and has no sense of fun or joy.  And can quote word for word clause 28.1.1, sub section (ii), sub clause (b) of the 130,000 word sponsorship agreement with the Olympics sausage partner which says “No person other than the Official Sausage Partner can show, demonstrate, hint at or in any way have an association with sausages, on pain of being excruciatingly killed by having to spend 2 full weeks in a locked room full of lawyers……….” Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!.

Common sense is not so common. Is it?

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