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Olympic rules leave firm feeling 'fobbed off'

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: February 15, 2012

Plantscape's Olympic Torch design

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AN OLYMPIC-themed design created by an Ashbourne firm has had to be put on the backburner after London 2012 organisers refused to authorise its use.

Plantscape, based in Hulland Ward, has accused the olympic committee of not caring about the UK’s small businesses because of its tight restrictions on using images relating to the games.

Bosses at the firm had been hoping to adapt a batch of roadside planters to sell to councils as they plan to decorate their streets but say they were given a “baffling” response to a request for permission.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) issued Plantscape with a 21-page booklet, which they say defines clearly what can and can’t be used by firms in the run-up to the London games.

But Plantscape managing director Mark Stone says the information is confusing and even a direct approach to the committee for permission failed to give them a clear answer.

He said: “We understand the need to protect the Olympic brand and respect the wishes to avoid using the rings and the London 2012 logo, so we have kept well away from doing that.

“But the torch isn’t mentioned anywhere and we have a very generic design, so we felt confident that we would be able to get clarification from LOCOG which would tell us where we stood on our product.

“However, we ended up with a time-consuming search for a decision and feel fobbed off at the end of it.

“Why can’t they help us? It’s very disappointing and makes us feel like the L o n d o n 2 0 1 2 organisers don’t care a b o u t engaging with small businesses.

“It’s natural that as a business, when we are asked by customers to p r o v i d e something that helps them celebrate the Games, we want to help them, but now we have been left not k n owi n g what to do.” A spokesman for the organisers insisted the leaflet makes the restrictions clear. He said: “We provide a set of guidelines for businesses which clearly sets out what they can and can’t do with relation to London 2012.

“We apologise for any confusion or delay that might have been caused over this issue.”

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