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Mr. Andy Reed (Loughborough) (Lab/Co-op): I add my congratulations on the way in which this issue has been dealt with, which demonstrates that there has been cross-party support for getting the wording right throughout the Bill's passage. Opposition Members were right to raise the matter in Committee because the Bill would have somewhat shifted the presumption on the evidence, although we also realised that there was a real need to prevent ambush marketing. The headline-grabbing words in the Bill made it difficult to escape that thought. The idea that we could ban the use of the word "summer" in a whole variety of contexts, which was suggested by paragraph 3(4)(g) of schedule 4, caused consternation outside the Housealthough those of us who were involved in the Bill's passage, LOCOG and others realised that we wished to prevent the use of a combination of phrases and words, such as "2012" and "the games", for commercial purposes.
I want reassurance from the Minister about a matter raised by the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Foster). Will he ensure that there is sufficient flexibility for amateur sports clubs and associations and county sports partnerships throughout the country? For example, in Leicestershire the county sports partnership and others are trying to organise 2012 fun runs from now right through to the time of the Olympics. We want an assurance that no such projects will ever be caught, because they are intended not to make a commercial profit out of the games but to encourage people to participate. They are intended to encourage mass participation in sport throughout the country by garnering enthusiasm for the 2012 Olympics.
We have made the right move by trying to reassure people outside the House that the presumption is not the wrong way round, and that the presumption of innocence exists. However, the regulations will still be
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sufficiently tough to address those who wish to profit from the games. We should not underestimate the fact that many people will want to ride on the back of the success of the Olympics, especially as we run up to the games in 2010 and 2011. If we allow that to happen, it might jeopardise the commercial success of the Olympics and the money that we need to generate through big sponsors to pay for the games. It is thus important that we get this aspect of the Bill right. On reflection, we now have perhaps the best possible way forward, so I congratulate all who have been involved on finding the solution.
Mrs. Maria Miller (Basingstoke) (Con): I welcome the amendment on evidential presumption, because the matter caused a great deal of debate in Committee. However, I wish that the amendments went further, especially on the terms of infringement.
As we predicted in Committee, the list of prohibited words and expressions is starting to cause problems for several organisations. Such organisations wish to support the games and ensure that they are a success for the whole country. An organisation in my constituency called Basingstoke 2012, which was set up to promote Basingstoke as a site for an Olympic training team, has already fallen foul of the rules, and I believe that other organisations throughout the country are experiencing similar difficulties. The problems are of such an extent that my local paper, the Basingstoke Gazette, is running a competition to rename the organisation. In the meantime, the organisation is being called "Basingstoke 2011 plus one" to try to get round the problem. The situation is a little reminiscent of what we were discussing in Committee, so I hope for further reassurance from the Minister that organisations that wish to support the success of the games for the betterment of the country will not fall foul of the measures.
I have heard the comments made by the hon. Member for Basingstoke (Mrs. Miller), and I shall speak to LOCOG about that matter. As she knows, LOCOG will start any prosecution and take a view on such issues. We will give further consideration to freedom of information, and although the issue should not be addressed in the Bill, I have heard the point made by the hon. Member for Bath (Mr. Foster).
Like other amendments that we have debated today, Lords amendment No. 17 was introduced following debate in this House and the other place. It makes it clear that before altering the list of words and phrases in paragraph 3 of schedule 4, the Secretary of State shall consult the advertising industry, advertising regulators, LOCOG and anyone else whom she thinks appropriate. The amendment is similar to those that we have already discussed in relation to the advertising and street trading regulations, and again, we have listened to the concerns expressed by the industry and on both sides of the House. The amendment provides on the face of the Bill greater assurance for the advertising industry that it will
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be consulted on provisions that may affect its day-to-day business. I think it unlikely that the list of words and phrases in schedule 4 will change, but hon. Members will appreciate that if damaging ambush marketing takes place between now and 2012, the Secretary of State must retain the right to alter that list.
Mr. Don Foster: Does the Minister agree that there would be another possible reason for a change if the IOC changed the technical manuals, in which case the Secretary of State would have no choice other than to change the wording?
Mr. Caborn: That is right. The IOC could make such a change, perhaps in response to an international issue, in which case the amendment would give us the necessary flexibility. We must retain the right to make a change in order to provide greater clarity both to the courts and to the public about what sort of activity is likely to create an unauthorised association.
We should also bear in mind that the Bill provides for the Secretary of State to remove words from the list, if legitimate business is stifled as a result of the provision in schedule 4. As a result of the amendment, the Secretary of State "shall consult" persons who will be affected by changing the list of words. The amendment specifies that appropriate consultation will take place with the advertising industry, advertising regulators, LOCOG and others. I am happy to advise the House to accept the amendment, which includes some of the commitments that we have made during the Bill's passage through Parliament.
Hugh Robertson: As the Minister has said, the amendment gives statutory force to the requirement to consult the advertising industry, its regulators and LOCOG. Once again, it returns to an issue that was discussed at length in Committee and on Report in this House and in the other place. It recognises the concerns of the industry and strengthens the requirement to consult, and therefore has my full support.
As the Bill leaves this House and Parliament for Royal Assent, may I place on the record my view that it is a considerable achievement for Parliament to have got such a complicated but important Bill on to the statute book in so short a time? I have already paid tribute to civil servants for their workI do so again nowand I also pay tribute to those at LOCOG and the British Olympic Association who have been involved with the Bill. The Bill has also been an excellent advertisement for the benefits of parliamentary scrutiny and cross-party co-operation. I hope that the Government will do everything in their power to ensure that that continues as we move towards 2012, and if they do so, they will have our wholehearted support.
Mr. Foster: Like the hon. Member for Faversham and Mid-Kent (Hugh Robertson), I am delighted that we have seen this final change of heart by the Government on this important issue. I am also delighted that we will now see on the face of the Bill some of the things that a number of hon. Members have requested for quite a long time.
As I said when we discussed the first group of amendments, we must accept that sometimes there will be a need for rapid change in the light of clever techniques
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used by advertisers. However, it is equally important that before any rapid change takes place, whether because of an incident or because of a request from the IOC, the consultation to which the amendment refers should take place. That may be difficult, because advertising is often planned a long time in advance, which involves the investment of a lot of money. I can foresee a number of difficulties, which is why I am pleased that the amendment includes not only consultation with the advertising industry but a requirement to consult those who regulate the advertising industry, which is a crucial addition.
It is worth reflecting that this is the only amendment that appears to have come almost out of nowhere. When other amendments were debated in the Lords, there was agreement that the Government accepted the principle and would come back with their own amendment. When this provision was debated in Committee in the Lords on 15 February, however, it was rejected outright, and the Government said that they were not interested in implementing it. Suddenly, lo and behold, the Government introduced the provision on Report on 16 March. None of us is sure what caused their change of heart, but whoever persuaded themon this occasion it was not Lord Clement-Jonesthey did a good job and deserve congratulation.
Like the hon. Member for Faversham and Mid-Kent and the Minister, I think that both Houses of Parliament can be inordinately proud of themselves for the way in which we have handled this Bill, which is the crucial legislation for the important 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games. All of us have been extremely well served by the Minister's staff, Department of Culture, Media and Sport civil servants and a wide range of lobbying groups. The lobbying groups have advised hon. Members on both sides of the House, which has enabled amendments to be tabled that have made the Bill much better than it was when it came before us a few months ago.
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