The controversy around ambush marketing

By Shabnam Khan, Lall Lahiri & Salhotra

While sporting events turn the spotlight onto their host country, they also play a vital role in the country’s economy. These events provide a valuable opportunity for a company to extend its competitive edge.

In recent years, corporate sponsorship has become the fastest growing type of marketing across the world. A lot of money and effort goes into sponsoring or supporting a public event and the sponsors clearly want to be exclusively associated with the event and reap maximum benefits out of this association. However, as is common for any trade or business strategy in commerce, sponsorship is not spared from being diminished and diluted by the presence of ambush marketers.

Diluted exclusivity

Ambush marketing is an effective and controversial way of not having to pay any money but still receiving attention and publicity by cashing in on the reputation, goodwill and popularity of an event. In most cases the ambush marketers are the direct competitors of the actual sponsors. The exclusivity in being part of an event is greatly diluted and the return on investment for these sponsors is jeopardized, ultimately leading to the loss of interest and value in the sponsorship.

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Shabnam Khan is a senior associate in the trademarks division of Lall Lahiri and Salhotra and takes care of India application filings and Indian trademark searches. Lall Lahiri & Salhotra is an IP boutique based in Gurgaon.


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