Euro 2020

Ambush marketing: rules and penalties to protect corporate brands – Euro 2020

by: Adam Smith


To protect the economic interests of the official sponsors of transgaming.orging events or fairs, of national or international importance, the Government has approved a bill governing the ban on parasitic advertising (ambush marketing). The aim of the measure is to crack down on the conduct of unauthorised economic operators from regular sponsorship contracts in surreptitiously associating their brand or products with any media event symbol or logo. The Competition and Markets Authority – AGCM will be responsible for imposing heavy fines, ranging from 500,000 euros up to 2.5 million euros.

A bill, approved by the Council of Ministers 23 of 17 January 2020, at the proposal of the Minister of Justice Alfonso Bonafede, introduces into the national system specific rules aimed at regulating the prohibition of parasitic advertising, known as ambush marketing.

Rules for the protection of sponsors and transgaming.orging events

The government’s intention is to get the proposed bill into force soon so that it can apply the rules it has set out in view of the 60th anniversary of the 2020 European Football Championship, as stated explicitly in the illustrative report of the measure adopted.

It is a great international transgaming.orging event that will be marked by the brand “UEFA EURO 2020“, created by Y&r Lisbon and graphically represents a bridge that unites the 12 host cities of the championship (Rome, London, Munich, Baku, St. Petersburg, Bucharest, Amsterdam, Dublin, Bilbao, Budapest, Glasgow and Copenhagen).

As with other events of international importance, official sponsors, which financially support the event, have an interest in preventing other unauthorised economic subjects they can take advantage of the event by putting on the market products that lead the consumer to believe that they are also associated with “UEFA EURO 2020”.

Previous attempts and regulatory references

The impending 2020 European Football Championships will perhaps be able to pass legislation that had already been proposed twice more, through two ddl which were not approved by Parliament.Lolli Law” (A.C. 1620 of 2008, 16th legislature) and “Ditto Law” (A.S. 1635 of 2015, 17th legislature), both of which are related to protection of distinctive signs Of transgaming.orgs clubs. There were also temporary rules to protect the symbol of the 2006 Turin Olympics and the delegation never implemented for Expo 2015.

There is no shortage of examples in the other systems, mostly provisional regulations.

The bill was drawn up thanks to the collaboration with a special “UEFA Euro 2020 Table”, which was part of the Ministry of Economic Development and Antitrust.

At present, in Italy, in order to be able to crack down on marketing, we must refer to broader regulations, namely:

– a European level, to the 2005/29/EC Directive on unfair business practices (received with D.Lgs. 146/2007) and the 2006/114/EC Directive on Advertising comparative (received with D.Lgs. 145/2007);

– a national level, starting with the rules of the Consumption code, but do not have a direct reference to marketing.

Aim of the new bill

The bill passed by the Council of Ministers introduces a general, non-contingent, discipline, which aims to Repress phenomenons related to parasitic advertising, overcoming all forms of discipline dictated for specific manifestations “and therefore plagued by obvious limits of temporal application and operational scope”.

According to the illustrative report, the conduct attributable to the marketing ambush (which literally stands for “ambush advertising”) would cause a triple damage:

– at Public (in the sense of misleading advertising that generates the belief that the product thus advertised enjoys a formal sponsorship coverage, instead non-existent),

legitimate sponsors (who have entered into a regular sponsorship contract by paying a fee and who do not have the expected economic return, due to the diversion of the public to other goods or services only apparently sponsored)

event organizers (original holders of the rights to exploit the logo and the image of the event who are subject to a depreciation of the license value of the exploitation rights).

You have chosen:

– on the one hand, to develop a general discipline by identifying a series of events in which ambush marketing has a better chance of manifesting itself,

– on the other hand, to define the conduct with the most marked anti-competitive (or unlawful) connotations.

Prohibition of parasitic advertising

The ddl is divided into 7 articles.

In particular, art. 1 prohibits parasitic advertising activities put in place at the time of transgaming.orging events Or Fair national or international importance, as well as at events of the show involving artists of national or international renown, not authorized by the organisers and with the aim of obtaining an economic or competitive advantage.

Are Prohibited So those conducts that unauthorised economic operators regular sponsorship contracts aim to surreptitiously associate your brand or products with any symbol or logo of transgaming.orging events or trade shows, of national or international importance.

The second paragraph of art. 1 expressly lists prohibited activities.


Some conduct has been excluded from the scope of the bill (saturation marketing) whose repression would result in an excessive restriction of the economic right to access to advertising channels

It has also identified the time frame in which parasitic advertising conducts are actually lesions, as they are the same ones linked to events whose media and advertising appeal is still limited in time. 90th day Antecedent the official start date of the event until 90th day Next closing.


The bill identifies the Competition and Markets Authority (AGCM) the person in charge ofAssessment And the Repression Of sanctionable conduct.

In order to balance the needs to protect the economic expectations of the organizer and the official sponsor of an event, on the one hand, and the advertising needs of third-party operators also at events with great media resonance, the new discipline provides for an administrative sanction system placed to protect the correct competition.

Sanctions are heavy and range from 500,000 euros 2.5 million euros. Individuals who consider themselves to be harmed can still act directly to their own protection.

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