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Bush Camp Dismisses Protest Over Olympic Ad

August 21, 2004|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Bush's reelection campaign will continue to run a television ad that mentions the Olympics by name, despite objections from the U.S. Olympic Committee, a spokesman said Friday.

"We are on firm legal ground to mention the Olympics and make a factual point in a political advertisement," Scott Stanzel said.

USOC officials had protested that federal law gave them the exclusive rights to the name.

The ad shows a swimmer and the flags of Iraq and Afghanistan.

"In 1972, there were 40 democracies in the world. Today, 120," an announcer says. ... And this Olympics there will be two more free nations. And two fewer terrorist regimes."

Bush campaign aides contended that the law in question gave the committee exclusive rights only to use the Olympics name to sell goods or services or to promote athletic competition. The campaign avoided using the symbol of five rings in the ad, the aides said.

Stanzel said the ad would continue to run through August.

Darryl Seibel, a USOC spokesman, said the committee had contacted the Bush campaign and was awaiting a reply.

Some of the players on the Iraqi Olympic soccer team have complained about the ad.

An act of Congress, last revised in 1999, granted the USOC exclusive rights to such terms as "Olympic" and specified that the organization "may not promote the candidacy of an individual seeking public office."

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