Friday, August 27, 2004

Bush should stop using the Olympics in political advertisements.

Why you're right:

1. The ads violate the law. By federal law, the words "Olympic" and "Olympiad" cannot be exploited for political purposes. Bush uses the word Olympic in his campaign advertisements. (36 USC 2205 §§ 220506, 220507).

2. The ads damaging our status in the international community. They have drawn complaints from the International Olympic Committee because they feel the ads are "sullying a global trademark that has tried to remain above politics." The ads have also " provoked bitter feelings among some Iraqi Olympians." (Washington Post)

3. The ads are inaccurate. The advertisement implies that Iraq was able send athletes to the Summer Olympics because the United States invaded Iraq. The ads say "today, because the world acted with courage and moral clarity...[Iraqi] athletes are competing in the Olympic Games." But Iraq was represented in the 2000 Sydney Games. (George W. Bush, U.S. State Department)

Why they're wrong:

A Bush Cheney spokesman said that "We are on firm legal ground to mention the Olympics to make a factual point in a political advertisement." But the central purpose of a campaign advertisement – by definition – is to argue for one candidate to be elected. That is a prohibited use of trademarks of the United States Olympic Committee. There are some things in the advertisement that are factual and some things that are not. But presenting some factual information does not mean that there aren't problems – legal and otherwise – with running the ad.