Forget terrorism, the biggest threat to London this Olympics is cops on the beat daring to carry the wrong snack.

Crunchy, salty contraband

And by wrong we mean any snack food that is not a product of one of the Games’ major sponsors, Coca Cola, Cadbury and McDonald’s.

By order of the IOC police and Royal Protection guards patrolling the Olympics precinct over the next two weeks must empty any non-sponsored snacks into a clear polythene bag.

According to the “The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) sent a directive to all forces involved in the policing of the Games to comply with the order.”

Here’s our question: what the hell do the IOC have against the humble chip? This edict comes just a week after the IOC tried to ban all chips in the Olympic precinct that weren’t either McDonald’s chips or greasy fries served alongside the traditional, British battered fish.

The main aim is to prevent “free” advertising opportunities for brands not stamped with the Olympic committee approval. Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill. Not to mention a worrying displacement of priorities, just two days out from the Games.

Compliance with this order however, already looks unlikely. As one Police Federation member for Thames Valley Police said yesterday: “I’d like to see a security guard try to tell a police officer to empty his lunch into clear bags. They’d have to be very brave because the answer he’d get would be very short indeed.”

Obviously the entire Olympic machine makes a living through its major global brands but these are the brands that have friendly websites and encourage consumers to partake of their consumers with a sense of fun.

Would it be asking too much to apply that ethos to the world’s largest sporting event?

What’s your Olympic gripe? Tell me on Twitter: @lucyjk

Most commented


Show oldest | newest first

    • iansand says:

      11:21am | 26/07/12

      Please, please, please can the games actually start, so Team Olympic Journalist has something to actually write about, instead of running around like headless chooks in search of anything, anything at all, vaguely resembling a story.

    • Greg in Chengdu says:

      07:45pm | 26/07/12

      iansand many of us do find this a legitimate story. The story being what authority do the IOC have to tell police what they can and cannot eat while on duty. The IOC have become a ridiculous beauracratic joke. When are they going to start concentrating on sport.
      The police have their job to do and it isn’t promoting snack foods.
      To the IOC,
      You do your job, and leave law enforcement to do theirs.

    • nihonin says:

      11:26am | 26/07/12

      This is what is wrong with the Olympics, sport is now secondary to marketing.

    • Scott smoth says:

      11:26am | 26/07/12

      Is the Olympics about Sport or money?
      I would get the some none sponsors stuff and eat/wear it just to annoy them.

    • Michael S says:

      11:28am | 26/07/12

      Unbelievable that they’re so strict on the labelling and branding of foods, and can tell the difference between brands of potato chips, soft drink etc; but they can’t tell the difference between the North Korea and Korea Republic flags.

    • Kika says:

      01:42pm | 26/07/12

      Are they competing combined? I think they compete separately now?

    • TimB says:

      11:33am | 26/07/12

      We had something like that happen during the Sydney Olympics. My younger brother bought an Australian flag that he took with him to all the events we had tickets for.

      One of these events was a hockey match. I can’t remember the countries involved now (I think it was Malaysia and somebody) but the point was Australia wasn’t playing. Which meant the flag my brother had was deemed offensive by one of the venue officials and he was forced to put it away.

      I mean really? This is what you’re concerned with?

    • Troy Flynn says:

      01:46pm | 26/07/12

      Flags are a symbol and that venue official must simply be “symbol minded” (para-phrasing George Carlin)

    • RobJ says:

      11:36am | 26/07/12

      Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm Walkers Cheese & Onion

    • pa_kelvin says:

      12:39pm | 26/07/12

      Dumb packaging .......Dont they know Salt and Vineger chips are ALWAYS in a pinky/purple bag. smile

    • VVS says:

      12:40pm | 26/07/12

      Prawn Cocktail has me intrigued…

    • Babylon in Canberra says:

      02:08pm | 26/07/12

      Pom goes to the Docs because his thingy is bright orange.

      After exhaustive tests our Aussie Doc is baffled.

      Aus Doc: “What do you do All day?”

      Pom: “Sit at home, watch porn and eat Wotsits.”

      Aus Doc:“Bingo!”

    • RobJ says:

      02:14pm | 26/07/12

      It’s blue actually and Walkers Cheese & Onion have always been blue, Smiths may be a bigger brand name but Walkers are better! ;o)

      “Prawn Cocktail has me intrigued…”

      I’ll help you satisfy your intrigue, they’re ‘orrible!

    • RobJ says:

      02:19pm | 26/07/12

      Oh pa my apologies, you might have been referring to the ‘worcester sauce’ flavour??

    • Nix says:

      03:47pm | 26/07/12

      No he was referring to the Salt & Vinegar being in a green pack in the picture whereas here in AUS they’re always in Purpley / Pink.

      Having said that why do ‘ckicken’ flavoured ‘snacks’ over here alwas come in a green pack - I kind of assocaite green with mold so it puts me of chicken chips, chicken in a biscuit, chicken shapes etc

    • pa_kelvin says:

      10:59am | 27/07/12

      @babylon ...How can Bingo make his thingy bright orange?? smile

    • mikespol says:

      11:36am | 26/07/12

      Firstly, I doubt very much whether Inspectors will be walking the beat. But apart from that, having worked with a few MetPol guys in the past, I suspect the answer would be very, VERY short indeed if make believe police tried to tell real police what they can and can’t eat.

    • nankypoo says:

      08:12pm | 26/07/12

      “Off is where I would like you to fornicate!”

      Apart from that, I have3n’t watched the Olympics since Roy and HG stopped commenting.

    • Shane* says:

      11:46am | 26/07/12

      Surely the bigger story is the sponsorship of the Olympic Games by unhealthy chocolate, fast food and soft drink manufacturers?

    • Emma says:

      12:17pm | 26/07/12

      Its like Smirnoff sponsoring safe driving campaigns.

    • Mahhrat says:

      12:18pm | 26/07/12

      Aaaaaannnndd…Shane gets the point. 


    • Ohcomeon says:

      11:48am | 26/07/12

      This is hilarious and baffling to someone who already thinks the Olympics are a bizarre circus of marketing and insane committees.

      Id actually be interested in watching if even cable tv didnt have constant constant advertising in between every heat or throw, animated logos throwing their visual feces all over the place. What Im saying is I would enjoy watching it if sport was the focus of the coverage, but its just not.

      I still dont understand why the Olympics needs an official battery or an official burger. People really are stupid.

    • Maryjane says:

      05:36pm | 26/07/12

      According to the Gruen Olympic special last night, tax payers of the country involved would be paying a shipload more money for the Olympic Games if it weren’t for the sponsors.
      On the other hand this is so silly that I’d just love to see thousands of Brits and tourists wandering about London eating everything from polythene bags including the sponsors products.

    • SLF says:

      12:02pm | 26/07/12

      Any word on whether Leisel Jones has offered to confiscate and ‘dispose’ of offending bags of chips, fast food, soft drinks, cupcakes and pies…


      Seriously though, they have to put some form of restrictions in place otherwise why would sponsors hand over their cash to be associated with the games? No sponsors, no games, so they have to try and keep them happy and prevent brands that don’t invest from getting a free ride.

      And it isn’t a Briitsh issue or London 2012 issue…Ansett V QANTAS was a huge deal at the time.

    • Al says:

      07:42am | 27/07/12

      “Seriously though, they have to put some form of restrictions in place otherwise why would sponsors hand over their cash to be associated with the games? “
      Umm, how about exposure of their brand to a worldwide audience of millions?
      Restrictions on what people eat in the venues etc. Fine as this is being televised and is the exposure they paid for.
      But restrictions on what brand people can eat while they are doing their job in an area that is not being televised, a bit over the top.
      My question is why do they expect a person who has an allergy (such as a gluten allergy) to only eat from clear bags which may not provide the same seal and freshness of product?
      Wouldn’t this make them guilty of discrimination on the basis of a medical condition that has no impact on their ability to do their job?
      The main point being, if it was in an area where there was more than passing broadcasting of footage, they would have a basis, but in the village (which only ever has passing broadcasting) makes no sense and even if they did have a different brand, well the sponsors could always seek to have the offending images blurred so as not to take away the workers choice to eat what they want too.

    • Mazz says:

      12:11pm | 26/07/12

      I didn’t know the Games was sponsored by Walkers.  Oh wait they aren’t.  But they’re getting all this publicity….they must be sponsoring…

      I wonder which brand of crisps the athletes are eating?  Gosh they’re all so fit….maybe they eat a lot of crisps?

    • subotic says:

      01:07pm | 26/07/12

      Oh, that says “Walkers”, not Wankers.

      My bad…..

    • 5 rings says:

      12:15pm | 26/07/12


      Oops !!!!

    • Esteban says:

      12:16pm | 26/07/12

      Thousands of sports journalists exclusively assigned to the olympics. They are required to file at least one story a day but the sports havn’t started yet.

      It is frustrating for the journalist when the venues are completed on time because the usual “will they be ready?” angle is not available.

      Let the games begin and we will all be grateful that they can start filing stories about the events.

    • AFR says:

      12:16pm | 26/07/12

      Its unfortunate, but without the sponsors, the games simply wouldn’t happen. If you are spending billions, you don’t want rival products anywhere near the event. You might recall Britney Spears being dumped by Pepsi some time ago when she was spotted with a can of coke.

      Your article reminds me I forgot to catch Gruen Sweat last night. Thank goodness for iview.

    • subotic says:

      12:18pm | 26/07/12

      Prawn Cocktail Chips?

      No wonder the Poms have such ugly goddamn teeth!

      I have yet to see a single British actor with decent teeth.

    • SydneyGirl says:

      12:44pm | 26/07/12

      Hullo there. That should be “subotic has perfect teeth”

      Along with American accents they all have good teeth nowadays. The power of Hollywood…..

      Apart from that I am tuning out the Olympics. Batshit boring with or without prawns.

    • Nikki says:

      01:22pm | 26/07/12

      My British husband loves the pickled onion flavoured Monster Munch, a flavour even worse than it sounds. And have you ever tried Twiglets? Tastes like actual twigs, that a dog has eaten and then shat out.

    • Kika says:

      01:46pm | 26/07/12

      Ah that’s old Subotic… very old.
      Australia has a pretty crappy dental system too. We can’t talk about having good teeth either.

    • Babylon in Canberra says:

      02:04pm | 26/07/12


      Have you had to endure smelly breath kisses all these years?

      Divorce him now!

      You’ll find Australian judges and juries totally sympathetic. He’ll probably get life.

    • SydneyGirl says:

      02:27pm | 26/07/12

      Babylon in Canberra

      So you are posting from the Alexander Maconochie Centre?

    • Nikki says:

      02:36pm | 26/07/12


      He gets his mum to send care packages of proper tea, squeezy Marmite, Revels and Galaxy chocolate, and those horrid snacks mentioned above as well as hula hoops and Wotsits. We’ve found the local IGA has an ‘International’ section that sells most of his favourite snack dirt, but one tiny pack of Revels costs nearly $5 so I don’t like letting him go shopping unattended.

      However, he has discovered local delicacies such as Burger RIngs, Cheezels and Toobs which fill the void when his UK stash runs out.

      It’s like living with Karl Pilkington.

    • subotic says:

      03:26pm | 26/07/12

      Twiglets sounds like the next British all-girl band.

      Or something African American parents call their Tweens.

      And ease up there. My missus is part African American, so I get a pass on that….

    • SAm says:

      12:24pm | 26/07/12

      What a individual police officer has any form of contract with any sponsors so can eat whatever he/she wants..absolute rubbish..I agree with others what exactly are the Olympics for now?

    • pa_kelvin says:

      12:27pm | 26/07/12

      Those chips look like Pringles in pack rather than a tube. Has any tried them??? How do they compare???

    • Kika says:

      01:51pm | 26/07/12

      Don’t get too excited. They are just chips. They aren’t dehydrated potato and wheat flour like pringles.

    • Rach says:

      01:56pm | 26/07/12

      Not like pringles, just like Smiths or Thins….though they haven’t yet mastered the Crinkle Cut!

    • pa_kelvin says:

      04:06pm | 26/07/12

      OK….Just on the pack they all look perfectly formed with that curve of pringles. Anyone else notice its the same picture off the chips on each packet?........Boring day. smile

    • Kika says:

      04:34pm | 26/07/12

      Apparently the curve on pringles chips was developed to prevent them from being damaged. A chemist actually designed pringles but couldn’t get the flavours right. I kind of don’t want to eat them now.

    • Grant says:

      12:59pm | 26/07/12

      I’d like to know where on earth the Olympic Committee gets the power to issue directions to the military and Police. Where do police get the legislative power to remove someones chips?

      Where are the police unions? Why aren’t they refusing to follow this edict?

    • RobJ says:

      02:20pm | 26/07/12

      “I’d like to know where on earth the Olympic Committee gets the power to issue directions to the military and Police.”

      The mighty dollar (or pound in this case) money trumps everything in this day and age.

    • Trevor says:

      02:34pm | 26/07/12

      Neo-liberalism. Giving rights to corporations. That’s who the ops look after these day.

    • Maryjane says:

      05:47pm | 26/07/12

      Let us know how you get on..

    • Chris L says:

      03:52pm | 26/07/12

      The London games is a boring, chaotic waste of time. The great British Empire is over.

    • Pom says:

      03:57pm | 26/07/12

      I’m truly shocked that my fellow poms back ‘ome haven’t just put two fingers up at the ludicrous, overbearing IOC. This is the nation that resisted the Third Reich, and now they’re letting people who speak French, for god’s sake, dictate terms and tell them what crisps they can eat.
      Whatever happened to the blitz spirit? C’mon folks, tell ‘em to get stuffed.

    • Al says:

      07:45am | 27/07/12

      SydneyGirl - while it includes a portion of mangled French, it also includes mangled:
      Greek, Spartan, Norman, Gaelic, Roman, Burgundian, Norweigian, Scandanvian, Spanish etc….

    • stephen says:

      04:13pm | 26/07/12

      Nothing wrong with telling your local policeman where to get off - just be polite about it, that’s all.
      Any decent c…cu…cun…constable would mind such a retort :’ I’m making love to my wife, could I do it later, Officer ?’
      Or some such thing.

      The Poms are a notch up from us with those chips : they don’t have barbeque flavour ... you’d be hard pressed to see a greasy hotplate inside the bag. Maybe they mean barbeque flavour as in what is burning underneath ?
      Smiths crisps are the best, and we have them here.
      They can keep their cod’n chips… over there.

    • the cynic says:

      04:26pm | 26/07/12

      Have the Olympics finished yet ? Because I wouldn’t want to miss the best event of all, the closing ceremony.

    • Brizben says:

      04:42pm | 26/07/12

      The Olympics used to be for amateur athletes only, now even the coppers are sponsored.

      Can cops arrest sponsors? If not, the terrorists will be dressing up as Ronald McDonald.

    • Susan says:

      04:48pm | 26/07/12

      It’s all about the money.  One day the Olympics might forget about actual sports all together and have the CEO of Maccas racing against the CEO of Hungry Jacks…..whoever wins gets to throw their product range at the employees of the other company.

      Don’t use Twitter any more so unable to service that request sorry.

    • Don says:

      10:02pm | 26/07/12

      Must be why all the extra security huh?

    • Alec says:

      07:06pm | 27/07/12

      We’ve blanked our Olympic Sport carrying channels on all our TV’s ....if kids want Olympic’s they will watch on their Laps or mobiles…their own choice too!
      Neighbour next door has banned all food etc sponsering the Olympics, he has his pub drinks outside away frm pub TV’s…he’s a character


Facebook Recommendations

Read all about it

Punch live

Up to the minute Twitter chatter

Recent posts

The latest and greatest

The Punch is moving house

The Punch is moving house

Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

Will Pope Francis have the vision to tackle this?

I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

Advocating risk management is not “victim blaming”

In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…

Nosebleed Section

choice ringside rantings

From: Hasbro, go straight to gaol, do not pass go

Tim says:

They should update other things in the game too. Instead of a get out of jail free card, they should have a Dodgy Lawyer card that not only gets you out of jail straight away but also gives you a fat payout in compensation for daring to arrest you in the first place. Instead of getting a hotel when you… [read more]

From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

Superman needs saving

Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more



Read all about it

Sign up to the free newsletter