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News, gossip and insight from PoliticsHome Editor Paul Waugh

NBC, big bucks and Starbucks

When it comes to enforcing its strict rules on branding and sponsorship, the Olympic juggernaut tends to crush all opposition.

Stories have abounded of small businesses being banned from using the famous rings and of crackdowns on unathorised advertising in and around the London games.

From Aggers having his brolly confiscated at Lords to Pimms being banned from Wimbledon, the Olympics police take these things seriously. Only Dr Dre seems to have cleverly bent the rules.

Well, here's a strange twist.

NBC, which has come under fire for its delayed coverage of the games and for its Twitter attack on Guy Adams, appears to have its very own Starbucks in the Olympic Park.

The pop-up Starbucks is certainly keeping NBC* staff happy. But - the last time I looked - Starbucks isn't an official sponsor of the 2012 Olympics. (Unlike, say, McDonald's, which sells, er, coffee).

So how does NBC get away with it? Have Locog just not noticed? Or is there some special exemption?

Surely it can't be because NBC has paid big, big bucks to cover the Games exclusively for the US audience - and has a close relationship with Starbucks back home?

I've put in calls with both Locog and Starbucks. So far no answer...

 

 

*FOOTNOTE: Although NBC has been criticised (see the #NBCFail hashtag) for its decision not to cover the games live, it seems to be attracting big audiences and even claims to be making a profit.

But many here are just grateful for the BBC - as this Salon piece underlines.

The pic above, by the way, comes from this. BBC FiveLive reporter @nadderley also spotted an NBC journo with a Starbucks cup a few days ago, but didn't realise where it had come from.

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