Monday, 30 July 2012

Olympic Doubt

I think The Olympics are great. I really enjoyed watching the opening ceremony in our local. I was a little apprehensive about the brand new big screen, but actually, it works and the bar is long and narrow enough to be able to escape its intrusiveness. I'm sure it'll help drive customers to the pub, especially as places without any TV often suffer during major sporting events.

I'm digressing from my main point. Although the Olympics are great, and I understand the need for both acceptance of some inconvenience and the need for big business sponsors, I am concerned that in reality there is little payback and much inconvenience for small business.

I've been told that there is a strict ban on any use of the Olympics by businesses for promotion unless they are directly sponsoring the games. I have heard some horror stories about various small concerns being forcibly told not to support the Olympics. I haven't got direct corroboration of this, but my information is from a reliable source. Update: Found the story.  One story is about a small shop that got raided simply for putting up a few balloons (and, it turns out, banners, flags and stuff). The shop thought they was just joining in with the spirit of the thing.

I do know that some places in central London have found that their businesses have been disrupted by The Games. In particular, deliveries have been made more difficult by insisting deliveries are made at night. I'm sure London in general will benefit from the event, and perhaps most small businesses will also see an increased footfall negating the disadvantages. However, there seems to be an indication that the extra people in London have been countered by people staying away due to the fear of it being busy, I wonder if the overall effect is positive.

We have been indirectly impacted in various ways. We do sell some beer to places in London. We have seen disruption to ordering patterns that we are told is a result of The Games. We decided not to do anything Olympic orientated for fear of reprisals. We could have been bold and provoked controversy, of course, but that seems to be the wrong thing to do.

So, in summary, the little guy is told to put up with the disruption because it's good for the country, but we are prevented by law from taking advantage of the publicity because the big sponsors have insisted.

I'd love to know if this is just a jaded view, an overly biased conspiracy theory about big multinationals stamping on small business under the name of a common good. Perhaps I am paranoid. Or perhaps small business has been shit on again.


Stiggle said...

It might be only people called Dave have jaded views of the Games.

We were told it would be great for British Business.

Only Heineken (Dutch) brews sold on site. Only McDonalds (USA) food, only Cola Cola (USA) drinks.

Not only do the sponsors get protected status for selling stuff in association with the games aswell as on site within the game venues, but they get allocations of seats at the events - which we've seen they've nto used at many events so far.

As the British Taxpayer paid so much for the games we should have at least had a British Pavillion within the games site where British regions could be promoted and regional products sold, like many regional drinks (both alcoholic and soft), jellied eels, cumberland sausage, melton mowbray pork pies, devon cream scones, Welsh bara brith, Scottish oatcakes, haggis, etc.

Unknown said...

Agree one hundred per cent, Dave. My own blog will shortly have a post about the way the London brewing scene is being largely ignored during a Cultural Olympiad.

Michael Spears said...

It's crap that a small business can't simply offer (in signage), for example, 1 quid off of a pint during a UK football match. It's appalling that local business can't even use the word Olympic.
Mike, USA

Taf said...

I'm based in Ireland, and nearly cancelled my trip to the GBBF this year, due to the olympics, but I've been trying to get over the last couple of years, so said to hell with it, as I will be staying with family.

A lot of people I know will not be coming to London this year, because of the high cost of accomodation.

Neville Grundy said...

There's an old saying, Dave: "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you". Of course it's been a stitch-up from beginning to end, coupled with staggering incompetence: G4S, empty seats, food and drink shortages in the venues, inviting Keith Moon to perform and of course, going at least four times over the original budget. I agree there's nothing in it for small businesses.

I shan't be watching as I'm not interested, but if you do like sport, you might as well enjoy it because you have paid for it - dearly.