SBD/Issue 175/Olympics

Sponsor Lloyds Uses London 2012 Logo Despite Poor Feedback

Despite negative reaction to the London 2012 logo that was unveiled this week, Games sponsor Lloyds is using the logo in the bank’s blue and green colors in full-page ads in British newspapers, and LOCOG "stands firmly behind its design,” according to Mark Bisson of AROUND THE RINGS. A LOCOG spokesperson said of the negative feedback on the logo, “I think we made a strong statement and when you do that you expect a strong reaction” (, 6/5).  LOCOG Chair Sebastian Coe said, “We don’t do bland. This is not a bland city. … We weren’t going to come to you with a dull or dry corporate logo” (“GMA,” ABC, 6/6).

WEATHER THE STORM: In London, Owen Slot reports the Change the London 2012 Logo campaign approached 25,000 signatures yesterday, but he recalls similar sentiment around the Barcelona 1992 Games’ mascot, Cobi, which then-IOC President Juan Antonio Samaranch and head of marketing Michael Payne came close to vetoing.  Payne said, “We thought it was awful, yet it went on to be the most iconic and successful Olympic mascot to date” (LONDON TIMES, 6/6). Also in London, David Bond writes under the header, “Coe’s Team Must Weather The Logo Storm.” Bond: “Whether it is logos or mascots, most host cities have been through the sort of storm London is now weathering” (London TELEGRAPH, 6/6).   

MORE NEGATIVE REAX: The London 2012 logo was discussed on ESPN's afternoon talk shows yesterday.  L.A. Times columnist Bill Plaschke said, “Any time you’re designing an Olympic logo, you should try to make it not look like the results of a colonoscopy” (“Around The Horn,” ESPN, 6/5). ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser: “I got scared and thought it looked like a swastika.” ESPN’s Michael Wilbon: “They think somehow this is the key to marketing and they spend nearly $1(M) to have a commission come up with these things and they look stupid” (“PTI,” ESPN, 6/5). ABC correspondent Lama Hasan interviewed passersby about the logo on a London street on "GMA" today.  Reactions include: “Give me ten minutes, I could come up with something better than that,” “A four-year-old could have done better,” and “I’m dyslexic, and it took me half an hour on the television to read and understand what that was”  (“GMA,” ABC, 6/6).

DIFFERENT REACTION: London 2012 organizers yesterday were “forced to pull the promotional video" for the logo from the official Web site after complaints from epileptics, who said that an animated version of the logo "triggered seizures."  Yesterday, it "emerged that eight people had suffered seizures and several people had contacted the charity Epilepsy Action to say they had been affected” (Manchester GUARDIAN, 6/6). NBC’s Matt Lauer said of the reports about the seizures, “So we’ve got two problems here. … The animation could send people to the hospital, and on the other hand, apparently a large percentage of people in the U.K. just hate the logo, period.” The show, which aired animated clips of the logo, is running a poll on its Web site to see if viewers hate the logo as much as the British public does (“Today,” NBC, 6/6).

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