Australian consultant holds workshops on how to ambush Olympics

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SYDNEY--A series of workshops to teach marketers how to mount and protect themselves from ambush marketing campaigns are being held by a top Australian sponsorship expert in the lead up to September's Sydney 2000 Olympics.

"My job is not to make an ethical decision for companies, it is to equip them with the best possible sponsorship skills. If they choose to ambush, they will know how to do it well. If they don't, they will at least know how to stop it happening to them," says Kim Skildum-Reid, an Australian sponsorship consultant and author.

The move is set to raise the ire of the Sydney Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, which has struggled to assure official sponsors that steps have been taken to protect against ambush marketing.

Ms. Skildum-Reid is leading a series of workshops to take attendees step-by-step through the selection, planning and implementation of a successful ambush.

"Ninety percent of ambushes don't work. They are either off strategy, not big enough, or too contrived to be effective," Ms. Skildum-Reid says.

"If a sponsor gets ambushed, it's their fault. It's time we stop blaming the ambusher for taking advantage of a sponsor's weakness and start teaching the sponsors to protect themselves."

Copyright June 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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