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Published Date: July 25, 2016

The Sun International CEO SleepOut™ Event is officially a ‘Protected Event’. Following an extensive application and thorough consideration, the Minister of Trade & Industry, Rob Davies, has declared the 2016 CEO SleepOut™ Event a protected event, under S15 of the Merchandise Mark Act 17 of 1941. This elevates the status of The CEO SleepOut™ Event to the equivalent of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. It is the first time a non-sporting event has been declared a protected event.

The CEO SleepOut™ Trust satisfied government that the staging of the event is in the public interest, and that organisers have created sufficient opportunities for small businesses – in particular those from previously disadvantaged communities. In terms of the Act, the protected status gives the event special protection against ambush marketing which may occur by intrusion or association with the event. The use of certain marks are also prohibited. Specifically, no person may use a trade mark in relation to the event in a manner which is calculated to achieve publicity for that trade mark**, thereby deriving special promotional benefit from the event, without the prior authority of the organisers of The Sun International CEO SleepOut™ Event.

Through the application process, Stakeholder Partners and legal advisers to the Trust, Adams & Adams also confirmed a list of marks VIEW that are related to the event and that are covered by the SleepOut™ ‘s raised status. These marks include SleepOut, CEO SleepOut, CEO Cook Off, images related to the event, names of sponsors and beneficiaries as well as other distinctive features related to the event. Any contravention of this protected status is a statutory offence which could lead to imprisonment and/or a fine.

In announcing the confirmed status, Trust member and Adams & Adams Partner, Darren Olivier, said, “The raised status by government of this event not only affirms the philanthropic impact of the event in South Africa, but also the globally-recognised relevance of the CEO SleepOut.” The area of protection from ambush marketing by intrusion is a two kilometre radius of the location of the event at The Nelson Mandela Bridge. Otherwise, the area of protection is nationwide.

The CEO SleepOut™ and related events takes place on the evening of 28 July 2016. Over 200 CEOs, sympathy sleepers and students will brave the icy Nelson Mandela Bridge in an effort to raise more than R30-million for various designated charities and trusts. The South African Weather Service is forecasting that the overnight temperature will be as low as 4-degree Celsius, and a predicted 10-knot breeze will surely add insult to injury.

Leading intellectual property and commercial law firm, Adams & Adams, proudly announced its participation, as Stakeholder Partner, in The Sun International CEO SleepOut™ for the second year in a row. In making the announcement, Adams & Adams’ Chairman, Gérard du Plessis explained the firm’s rationale for extending its involvement in the innovative campaign; “In a recent global CEO survey, more than three-quarters of the CEOs interviewed worldwide agreed that business success in this century would be defined by more than just financial profit. Big business can help solve some important problems in the world today, and we believe we have found the ideal platform and partner in The CEO SleepOut initiative – a drive that helps us balance our bottom-line objectives with the need for responsible business practices.”

As a Stakeholder Partner since the first CEO SleepOut in 2015, Adams & Adams has been profoundly involved in both the fundraising and outcomes aspects of the initiative. The firm’s involvement last year, which included participation by clients, suppliers, staff and partners alike, resulted in it raising a contribution of well over R500 000 – the third highest contribution of all participants.

To pledge you support for The CEO SleepOut™, visit the WEBSITE to donate or to find out more about related events and initiatives.


The Sun International CEO SleepOut™ is part of a global movement, effecting positive social change for vulnerable and homeless communities. It asks current and future business leaders to spend a winter’s night on the streets, raising funds and empathy for the homeless, resulting in real change, around the world. Founded in Australia ten years ago, The CEO SleepOut™ is now a global initiative, with SleepOut™s taking place in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. It is leading the new wave of philanthropy and social entrepreneurship, where profits are being used for purpose, and leaders are inspiring others to find compassion and sustainable solutions for those who need it most.

The inaugural CEO SleepOut™ in South Africa took place in 2015, where 247 CEO and C-Suite members raised over R26million for Girls & Boys Town. In 2016, The CEO SleepOut™ is focusing on supporting education as a means to eradicate homelessness. On 28 July, C-Suite members, along with a colleague, student and matric learner with notable leadership qualities, will Rise To The Challenge and spend the night on The Nelson Mandela Bridge. The funds raised will be awarded to the 2016 Beneficiary Partners; ASHA Trust, Columba Leadership and the Steve Biko Foundation, all of whom work tirelessly to educate our youth. There is also a national call to action for the rest of the country to get involved; #SouthAfricaMustRise. Companies, universities and schools can SleepOut™ in solidarity at their own Sympathy, Student and School SleepOut™s.

For more information:


The use of a trade mark includes:

a) any visual representation of the trade mark upon or in relation to goods or in relation to the rendering of services;

b) any audible reproduction of the trade mark in relation to goods or the rendering of services; or

c) the use of the trade mark in promotional activities, which in any way, directly or indirectly, is intended to be brought into association with or to allude to an event.

Darren Olivier
Partner | Attorney
Gérard du Plessis

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