This paper provides an empirical insight into the perception and use of ambush marketing on the People's Republic of China public television network CCTV5 (the official Olympic broadcaster), by examining the commercials used by various corporations during its coverage of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. A five-point categorization is presented to distinguish between various methods of ambushing. Despite the efforts of the Beijing government to fight ambush marketing ahead of its Olympic Games in 2008, the results demonstrate that concerns about the practice of ambush marketing in China must be taken seriously. An analysis of 40 commercial spots was carried out, based on China's 2002 Olympic Symbol Protection Law, as well as a comparison of ambush marketing on Chinese CCTV5 with nine other nations. This paper concludes with some theoretical considerations concerning general protection of Olympic sponsors and reflects on particular cultural backgrounds in China that may relate to ambush marketing.
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