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Christopher Chase

Christopher Chase


Alex Kelham

Alex Kelham


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TRENDSETTERS: A Look at the Pros, Cons, Challenges & Opportunities of AMBUSH MARKETING with Chris Chase and Alex Kelham

The Internationalist Trendsetters is written by Deborah Malone, founder of The Internationalist.

"Ambush marketing" is a controversial marketing practice that pits non-sponsors against rights holders. It is as prevalent as ever, as non-sponsors seek to associate their brands, rightly or wrongly, with significant sporting or entertainment events without needing to pay sponsorship fees. 

With international marketers readying for the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games, the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance (GALA) recently released its latest edition of Ambush Marketing: A Global Legal Perspective.  The book summarizes the laws and other rules governing ambush marketing in 69 countries around the world, and is a collaboration between Alex Kelham, Partner at GALA member for the UK, Lewis Silkin LLP, and Christopher Chase, Partner at one of the GALA members for the US, Frankfurt Kurnit.   

As lawyers, Alex in London and Chris in New York, advise on the laws that are in place and the impact of those laws on their clients' activities—whether they are a rights holder, a sponsor or even an ambush brand. 

To hear more from Chris Chase and Alex Kelham, tune in to our Trendsetters podcast as they talk about the definitions, legalities, and examples of ambush tactics that have either gone wrong or become iconic successes.  CLICK HERE

In our conversation, we discuss the following:

  • Why Ambush Marketing is so difficult to define. And two core types of ambush marketing.
  • Examples of how brands have used ambush marketing—effectively, as well as with unfortunate consequences.
  • Ambush marketing is often thought of as a negative practice.  However, consumers don't necessarily recognize an ambush execution from a sponsor one.  Aside from cannibalizing the value of an event and sponsorship, can it ever be considered a good thing if done legally?
  • Ambush marketing is most often thought of in the context of sporting events, but it is not limited to that field. 
  • The practice of ambush marketing does not appear to be going away any time soon. 
  • Your Ambush Marketing Guide updates GALA's 2014 edition and summarizes the laws, rules, and regulations governing ambush marketing in 68 countries.  What is different now 7 years later in our new age of social media and influencers?  
  • What's next for this topic?  Will we continue to see more of it in new forms or will there be greater legal cooperation among countries?   

Ambush Marketing: A Global Legal Perspective is available for purchase on and is also available directly from the Global Advertising Lawyers Alliance ( ).

In addition to updating the existing chapters in Ambush Marketing, the third edition covers 18 new countries, including Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, the Dutch Caribbean, El Salvador, Ghana, Hong Kong, Hungary, Kenya, Malta, Peru, Puerto Rico, Serbia, Slovakia, Ukraine, and the United Arab Emirates.

Christopher Chase, Partner at one of the GALA members for the US, Frankfurt Kurnit, stated, "Because the laws – and their interpretation – vary greatly from country to country, rights holders and marketers must continue to be vigilant to remain in compliance, particularly when distributing a cross-border campaign." 

Alex Kelham, Partner at GALA member for the UK, Lewis Silkin LLP, added, "There is no consistent approach to regulating ambush marketing around the world. Marketers are always getting creative, pushing the boundaries, and with new, targeted laws being introduced to try to address the issue in certain countries, ambush marketing makes for a fascinating topic."


With firms representing more than 90 countries, each GALA member has the local expertise and experience in advertising, marketing and promotion law that will help your campaign achieve its objectives and navigate the legal minefield successfully. GALA is a uniquely sensitive global resource whose members maintain frequent contact with each other to maximize the effectiveness of their collaborative efforts for their shared clients. GALA provides the premier worldwide resource to advertisers and agencies seeking solutions to problems involving the complex legal issues affecting today's marketplace.