A pub in Sydney’s northern suburbs has questioned the ‘spirit’ of the Olympic movement after being told to remove an outdoor banner that features the Olympic rings.
A black and white flag has been flying outside the Great Northern Hotel in Chatswood that reads Olympics – All the Big Events Every Night.
It's now set to be rubbished after the Australian Olympic Committee ruled it was in breach of strict advertising guidelines that prohibit the use of official insignia.
"I thought it was so ridiculous to be honest," said the hotel's operations manager, Michael Paterson.
"We have three hotels and the same banner is flying out the front of all of them.”
Mr Paterson was contacted by the AOC by email yesterday.
"I refer to your banner displayed at the front of your pub that has the word Olympic and the Olympic rings and advise you that under the Federal Act - the Olympic Insignia Protection Act, the use of Olympic Insignia and Protected Olympic Expressions in advertising and promotion require a licence from the AOC," a marketing manager wrote.
"It is our view you are currently in breach of the Federal Act and as a result we request that you immediately remove the offending banner."
Revelations of the ban comes just five days after similar rules threatened to ensnare the golden girl of Australian track cycling, Anna Meares.
An industry lobby group was forced to pull an advertising campaign featuring the 28-year-old after the AOC ruled it was also in breach of strict advertising guidelines, designed to protect the value of Olympic sponsorships.
Mr Paterson says the bans may be at a greater cost.
"The Olympics is the biggest sporting event in the world and being held only once every four years it's something that attracts people to our pubs.
"Our venues are very focussed on showing sporting events. We don't want to tread on anyone's toes – we just want to get into the spirit of things and support the Australian athletes on the big screen."
The Doncaster Hotel in Kensington and The Brookvale Hotel in Brookvale are also displaying the banners.