No, Really: Obama (& Pepsi) Gear Could Get You Kicked Out At The Olympics

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obamaFrom Kate Moss stomping down the runway to Ginger Spice sporting her infamous Union Jack dress, a lot of crazy stuff is set to go down in London's Olympic Stadium. One thing we didn't expect to see, though, was a strangely restrictive dress code. If you happen to be one of the lucky few heading overseas to experience the whole thing first-hand, leave your Obama T-shirts, reading material, and Pepsi-branded gear stateside, because all of that can get you turned away from the Olympic Games.

Since Adidas and Coca-Cola are shelling out big bucks to sponsor the London Summer Games, the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games is trying to keep competitive gear out of the arena and out of sight.

Some of the remaining venue rules are expected — no oversized hats, no golf umbrellas, and obviously, no guns — but "printed matter bearing religious, political, or offensive content" is also outlawed. Sure, most of us don't wear our floppy beach hats to sporting events, but clamping down on what sort of books people can read over the two-and-a-half-week long Summer Games is pushing it. We're guessing this throws a wrench in the plans of more than a few people who had planned to round out the 50 Shades of Grey trilogy while sitting in the stands.

Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of the Committee, spoke to London's Radio 4 last week and inflamed the situation further, making some less-than-clear statements about how ticket holder policy would be enacted in order to protect the rights of sponsors that "in a large part pay for the Games." Coe supported restrictions regarding politically affiliated clothing, but also came under fire for comments about how Pepsi T-shirts will "probably" get you kicked out. We never thought a love for soda could get you booted from an arena, which is why we're glad to hear the International Olympic Committee gave the Pepsi duds the green light, outlawing only attempts at "ambush marketing." The ban against political statements, though, is still on. Pack away the re-election gear, because the saga over how difficult it's become to wear your Olympic heart on your sleeve seems to continue.

But even more than being confusing, these bans raise a lot of questions about what exactly can be bought and paid for by a sponsor. Should they really be allowed to dictate the brands you wear at what's meant to be a global show of good sportsmanship? And is a ban on competitor products doing more harm than good to these brands' public images? Weigh in in the comments. (Telegraph)

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