Sunday, January 28, 2007

Melbourne might loose its balloons

Close to me old heart this one.

I flew in Melbourne when Balloon Sunrise belonged to Chris Dewhirst, that
was a couple of owners ago. Ambush marketing is always a touchy subject and
is even rearing its head for the 2010 world cup here in South Africa.
Already areas of cities are being zoned as exclusion zones for non event
sponsors. The zones are pretty big, tough luck if your Kentucy is within the
zone, all external branding will have to be covered because Mc D is an
official sponsor, I don't know that its just an example. I understand even
signage to bank ATM's will have to change so if your a visitor to South
Africa and need help finding your brand near a stadium tough!!

Perhaps the people at major sporting events should do more for the brands
supporting them. Go for it ambush marketers I say ;-)

Peter Ker, State Political Reporter
January 29, 2007

Fears that new ambush marketing legislation could affect Victoria's tourism
industry have prompted an investigation from the state's top tourism body.

Companies operating hot air balloon rides over Melbourne are eagerly
awaiting the State Government's next move on the legislation, amid concerns
balloonists could breach laws — that will focus on aerial advertising — if
they continue to fly balloons with corporate branding.

Aerial advertising bans were trialled during last year's Commonwealth Games,
but the Government was prompted into action after a big airship branded with
Holden logos flew over major events, including the AFL grand final.

The airship attracted the ire of sports authorities such as the AFL and
Cricket Australia, and infuriated rival companies who had paid large sums
for the official sponsorship rights.

The Age believes that Tourism Victoria marketing director Don Richter has
consulted tourism industry members ahead of Parliament resuming in February.
In a communique to officials in the Department of Sport and Recreation, Mr
Richter has advised the Government to consider exemptions from the imminent
laws, particularly during the morning, when most balloon companies operate.

Peter Gill, general manager of Balloon Sunrise, said his company would
struggle to break even without corporate branding on balloons, and urged the
Government to consider exemptions for tourism operators. "Legislation should
exclude hot air balloons that have fare-paying passengers," he said. "We are
not ambush marketing; we are going for a hot air balloon flight … We don't
interfere with any major event in Melbourne."

He said legislation should also take into account that most companies fly
across the city about dawn — hours before most sports and cultural events

He said buying new equipment without corporate branding was beyond most
Melbourne companies, with balloons costing about $70,000 each.

Stacy Hume, a spokeswoman for Sports Minister James Merlino, said
stakeholders would be considered. "Legislation will be introduced in 2007 to
protect selected major events from ambush marketing, this is currently being
developed," she said.

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