Blog Article

How do you police your brand?

Sign up and start improving your Google rankings and website traffic today!

How do you police your brand?

The Rio 2016 Olympics officially start tomorrow, but brands that are non-official sponsors need to pay special attention to avoid falling foul of Olympic brand restrictions.

International Olympic Committee (IOC) Rule 40 prevents athletes from appearing in non-official sponsor advertisements just before, during and just after the games, although there are some exemptions.

This means if an athlete’s sponsor isn’t an official games sponsor they can’t even publicly mention the athlete’s name in marketing communications if they directly refer to the Olympics. They also can’t use terms such as Olympic or Olympics in marketing communications.

The same applies for athletes, who technically can’t even send a ‘thank you’ message to their sponsor in public on social media if the brand isn’t an official games sponsor.

The intellectual property rights of the Olympic symbol, flag, motto, anthem and other identifications belonging to the IOC and brands aren’t allowed to use them without official permission from the IOC. You can read the Olympic brand restrictions in full here.

While not everyone agrees with these restrictions they are an example of the work big brands undertake to protect their intellectual property and their brand identities.

If you have a well-known brand that you allow selected partners to use, for example for joint marketing activities, it’s worth considering whether you have brand guidelines in place to police the application of your brand.

Also known as style guides, brand guidelines are a set of rules that are used to consistently apply a brand identity when designing any kind of marketing materials.

They cover key elements of your brand identity such as logo use including spacing, font types and colour themes, as well as specific advice for various applications of your brand such as on signage or vehicles.

If you’re looking for some examples of style guides for inspiration here’s a selection of those available online.



Boy Scouts of America:

Destination Canada:



Red Cross:

Thomas Design has extensive experience of creating brand guidelines for a range of businesses. To discuss how we can develop guidelines to consistently apply your brand call us on 01792 825624 or email [email protected]

Date: 04.08.16

Our Clients

Clubhouse Brewing Company in white on a transparent background
White Boulder logo with a red icon on a transparent background
Cawdor Cars logo in red and white text on a transparent background
Clee logo in white and red on a transparent background
White Big Retreat Wales logo on a transparent background
Direct Kitchen Doors logo in green and white on a transparent background
Assured Property Packs logo in white with a red tick on a transparent background
DRS FM Services logo in white with a purple arrow on a transparent background
EFT Consult logo in white and orange on a transparent background
TJB logo in white and light green gradient on a transparent background
Neath Port Talbot Council logo on a transparent background
James & Co Property Surveyors logo in white on a transparent background
Swansea University logo in white on a transparent background
White Kaymac branding and logo on a transparent background
Include logo in yellow on a transparent background
Energise Renewable Energy in orange and white on a transparent background
Practic Creations logo in white with light blue gradient swirl on a transparent background
Automated Marketing Partners logo in white on a transparent background
Weaver Motorsport logo in blue, white and black on a transparent background
Ten21 branding with transparent background
White Unit9 logo with transparent background
Barry Male Voice Choir logo in white on a transparent background
White Sinners logo with transparent background
GBR Technical Services logo in white on a transparent background

Boost traffic, generate leads and increase sales with our SEO services