|You'll need a visa to get in!|
I spotted a group on Facebook calling itself "Olympic Visa Boycott". They are campaigning for a change to sponsorship arrangements
"If you want to go to the London Olympics in 2012, you won't be able to buy tickets using any credit or debit card other than Visa. While you're there, you won't be able to use any other card to pay for food, souvenirs, etc.
The reason for this is that Visa is one of the main Olympic sponsors, and has done a deal to exclude other card handlers from anything related to the Olympics.
We believe this is unfair, unreasonable and entirely unjustifiable. There's nothing wrong with commercial sponsorship of sporting events whereby the sponsor gets exposure of their brand in return for the organiser getting money. But sponsors should not be able to dictate what the fans can and cannot do. Whether it's the credit card you use, the clothes you wear or the food you eat, the sponsors have no moral right to override your choice."
Like them, I'm perfectly happy in a commercial world for companies to sponsor people, games, events, etc. But to put people to the inconvenience of not being able to use a credit/debit card simply because it is a competitor's is simply wrong. It is moral blackmail. This happened in South Africa with the football World Cup with assorted merchandisers. It is an insidious, invidious thing!
I believe in free enterprise. My blog is here so I can say things against covert corporate sleaze and wrongdoing, often done in total opposition to free enterprise and entrepreneurship. This action is anti-competitive, it is undemocratic too. Why? Because Visa are denying choice in the market place. In order to purchase merchandise at the event, you have to have either cash about your person or a Visa card of some sorts. If you dare to have a MasterCard on you, do the remnants of the Stasi get overtime bonuses whilst they root out the offending cards?
Lord Coe should come clean now. Is this what we want in a sporting venue? Anti-competitive, self-interested monopolising of commercial activity by secret agreement!
Visa had a glitch!