Member Communication – Advertising rule update

At the AGM in November, the committee requested a vote on the advertising rule within JOG to gauge opinion and understand the views of members.

Several points arose from this debate, with the majority of members present supporting the current advertising restrictions. A more detailed review was requested including the consideration of the influence of professional sailors within our races. The overwhelming view was to ensure that JOG stay within its amateur ethos.

Following this, a detailed review of the rule as prescribed by JOG was undertaken, seeking guidance from the RYA rules committee and an international sailing judge.

The main points arising from this review were that JOG, as a race organiser, could not implement any exception to advertising for charities, armed forces, charter boats or any others. Furthermore, given the World Sailing update to the advertising rule in 2018, specifically the definition of what is advertising (see appendix one below), any boat racing under the no-advertising rule with markings other than their boat name would be breaking the rule.

As we have many boats with non-commercial team logos and a number of charities, armed forces and charter boats sailing within the JOG fleet, to correct our current implementation of the advertising rule would have a significant impact on our fleet. Such an impact may make our racing unviable.

As a result of this new information, following the AGM, the committee, flag officers and secretary have reached a consensus of agreement to recommend the adoption of IRC Rule C and removal of both IRC Rule D and the JOG Class rule on advertising from the 2023 notice of race.

Implementation of IRC Rule D, without the possibility of making exceptions, is considered to have too high an impact on our inclusivity and long-term sustainability and will prejudice participation by many existing members.

It is the intention of the committee to restate our amateur ethos and review any impact over the 2023 season.

On Sunday 15th January 2023 at 16:00hrs, we will hold a virtual meeting for members, to answer any questions and listen to any concerns regarding this. Please register here if you wish to attend.

Appendix One
WS Regulation 20.1.1 definition of advertising “a name, logo, slogan, description, depiction, a variation or distortion thereof, or any other form of communication that promotes an organisation, person, product, service, brand or idea so as to call attention to it or to persuade persons or organizations to buy, approve or otherwise support it”

Appendix Two
RYA Rules committee opinion on protest scenarios with advertising not permitted.
“…. our guidance and understanding would be that the examples you have given below could all be considered to fall under the definition of advertising which you have quoted.”
1. A competitor obscures a logo of a company with tape and the tape comes away during racing.
2. A competitor obscures part of a logo with tape and whilst the brand name cannot be seen, part of the logo can
3. A competitor carries a spinnaker with a company logo but no name. The logo is simply a tree but is also used by a company that is not recognisable from just the tree.
4. A competitor has a logo on a spinnaker that is not a brand or company, it’s a black skull of their non-commercial sailing team logo. (Is this considered to be an idea a logo etc?)
5. A competitor has named their boat the same as their company and uses the boat as a picture on their company’s social media pages.