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AOC loses justice conflict over Telstra Olympics ads

The Full Federal Court of Australia has ruled in foster of Telstra in a box brought opposite a “I Go To Rio” selling discuss in 2016 by a Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).

Under a unanimous preference by Justices Greenwood, Nicholas, and Burley, a interest was dismissed, with a AOC systematic to compensate Telstra’s costs.

The Federal Court had creatively decided in Telstra’s favour behind in Jun 2016, when Justice Wigney discharged a focus by a AOC to get Telstra to hindrance a selling discuss during a lead-up to and via a Rio Olympic Games.

During a strange trial, a AOC had argued that Telstra contravened both a Olympic Insignia Protection Act (OIPA) and Australian Consumer Law (ACL) by a selling campaign, as it did not have an AOC looseness to publicize about a Olympic Games.

According to a AOC, a growth of Telstra’s promotion discuss and a discuss itself breached a legislation in an bid to benefit business by regulating a “back door” for blurb benefit though profitable for organisation with a AOC — a telco looseness had been bought by Optus.

“It’s a really extensive, no doubt intensely good suspicion out, really endless promotion campaign, that a poignant partial border of it is … trade off what’s about to occur in a few weeks’ time, temperament in mind what a Olympics are about, how they ring with a Australian race and millions of people in a world, and a fact that Telstra was a unite we consider from 1990 until 2012,” a AOC argued.

“[Telstra is] no longer a unite with a AOC, since it’s been transposed by Optus.”

The AOC had claimed that Telstra was capitalising off a partnership with central Australian Olympics broadcaster Seven Network as a launch pad for a possess rebranding into a record company.

Telstra had argued that it was Seven’s right to promote a Olympics on a “ever-expanding operation of technologies” accessible to it, including Telstra’s inclination and services.

“Telstra is sponsoring Seven’s coverage, Telstra is sponsoring Seven’s ‘Olympics on Seven’ app, Telstra has arrangements with Seven to be designated as a central record partner of Seven’s coverage, and there’s zero that’s in there that’s untrue,” warn representing Telstra said.

After primarily being contacted by a AOC, Telstra’s ads also carried pithy disclaimers that it was Seven’s coverage, not Telstra’s.

“The selling component does not clearly uncover an goal on a partial of Telstra to advise that it had a sponsorship-like attribute with a Olympics,” Wigney J pronounced in his decision, final that Telstra had not breached a OIPA or a ACL.

“None of a advertisements, videos, catalogues, emails, or online materials, or other selling or promotional materials that occupy a Olympic expressions, would advise to a reasonable chairman that Telstra is or was a unite of, or is or was a provider of sponsorship-like support, to any applicable Olympic body.”

The AOC afterwards appealed a decision, progressing this year arguing that Telstra had intent in “ambush marketing” by comparing itself with a Olympics brand.

Counsel for a AOC Tony Bannon SC pronounced Telstra had used a “protected Olympic expression” demonstrating “sponsorship-like” organisation with a Olympic Games though purchasing a looseness from a AOC as compulsory underneath a OIPA.

“A pivotal component in bargain a primary judge’s blunder in proceed — and a altogether blunder in finish — is a approval that suggesting we are a believer of a Olympics and teams is code advantageous,” Bannon said.

“Telstra is not restraining itself to a Seven brand, though a Olympics brand,” he added, arguing that permitting Telstra to rivet in such practices would “diminish a value of a licence”.

“To remove limit income from a [buyer] such as Optus, it needs to be means to prove Optus and, going forward, any destiny [buyers] that a disdainful rights they [AOC] give them will not be detracted from in a approach we contend Telstra has finished and not finish adult in a position, in a behest debate, with a bidder observant ‘well that’s engaging though demeanour what Telstra was authorised to do in a final occasion’, hence abating a value of a licence,” Bannon said.

Counsel for Telstra, Anthony McGrath SC, again argued that whenever a stable Olympic countenance was used in advertising, it was “closely tied” to Seven and a Olympics by Seven app, and that consumers wouldn’t pretty ascertain otherwise.

“It’s not adequate to contend there’s an organisation with a games, it’s not generalized support … each singular use of ‘Olympics’ is not a use of Olympics during large. It is always tied to a idea of Seven’s Olympic games coverage or a Olympics on Seven app,” McGrath said.

“The usually sponsorship arrangement that’s being pretty suggested here is one of Telstra’s sponsorship of Seven’s coverage, of partnering with Seven, not being in a generalized clarity an Olympic sponsor.”


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