By Duncan Mackay in London

Usain Bolt_in_Virgin_advert_post_London_2012August 16 - Non-Olympic sponsors who are associated with sports and individuals at London 2012 today took advantage of the lifting of the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) three week blackout to trumpet their involvement in the success of Team GB and triple gold medallist Usain Bolt. 

Among those that were the first to take out advertisements were Aviva, the main sponsor of UK Athletics, Volvo, a major sponsor of British sailing, and Virgin Media, who had been forced to drop an ad featuring Usain Bolt on the eve of the Games.

Aviva, who have been British athletics' biggest supporter for 12 years, took out advertising in several newspapers, including The Sun and The Daily Telegraph, highlighting their support of Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah, winner of the 5,000 and 10,000 metres.

"We gave our backing. They gave it their all," the advert says.

It follows a row during the Olympics over Rule 40, an IOC regulation that prevents athletes from advertising for non-Olympic sponsors just before and during the Games, which caused huge controversy during London 2012.

Writing under the hash tags #wedemandchange and #rule40, several athletes, mainly American but also several British, wanted to raise awareness of the restriction.

The rules protect the 11 international companies, including Visa, McDonald's and Coca-Cola, which help to bankroll the Olympic Movement, paying around $100 million (£63 million/€81 million) each for four years of global rights to sponsor a Winter and Summer Games.

Those companies and sponsors of National Olympic Committees are exempt from rules designed to prevent "ambush marketing", non-sponsors getting free publicity on the back of the Games.

Ben Ainslie_celebrates_London_2012_gold_medalVolvo were among several sponsors who took the opportunity of the IOC lifting its blackout period to publicly acknowledge athletes it supports, like Ben Ainslie, who won a record fourth consecutive Olympic sailing gold medal at London 2012

The Volvo campaign, running in the Daily Mail, Times and Guardian, draws attention to the car brand's sponsorship of British sailors including Olympic gold medallist Ben Ainslie and silver medallists Saskia Clark and Hannah Mills.

The advert shows the different Volvos the sailors drive and states: "Team Volvo sailors, champions, legends on and off the water. Performance matters. With the drive to achieve your ultimate goal, your Volvo is designed around you."

The Virgin advert, featuring Bolt, who for the second consecutive Olympics won three gold medals, including the 100m and 200m, features the Jamaican doing his trademark bow and arrow celebration but is updated with a new strapline: "Richard's been busy doing the double (That's doubling broadband speeds)".

It does not explain why Virgin have not tripled their broadband speeds.

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