SBD/Issue 142/Olympics

Olympic Notes

AD AGE's Jeremy Mullman reports a recent Ad Age survey of 500 Americans indicates that 85% of respondents do not think politics "has any place in the Olympic Games," and 82% "don't think the sponsors of the games ought to be boycotted." But "nearly half of those queried ... said they expected those sponsors to pay a price anyhow." The survey, conducted between April 9-11 by New Jersey-based Lightspeed Research, found that "more people (35%) said sponsors ought to 'take a stand' regarding Darfur or Tibet than not (27%), with the largest percentage (38%) still undecided" (AD AGE, 4/14 issue). 

VINTAGE COKE: In Atlanta, Craig Simons reports Chinese nationalists are "calling for a boycott" of Coca-Cola. A Chinese blogger last week posted a photo of a Coke ad from a German railway station that "showed three Buddhist monks riding a roller coaster and carried the slogan 'Make It Real.'" Coke responded by "pulling the ad, which it said was used only in parts of Germany and was five years old." Coke said in a statement the ad was "designed to encourage people to try something new, and this image was only one of several that made up the 'Make It Real' campaign." Coke: "We regret if the use of an image featuring monks from an old print advertising campaign from 2003 has caused any offense" (ATLANTA CONSTITUTION, 4/15).

BLOG PARTY: In Baltimore, Andrew Ratner wrote, "If there was ever an event that plays to the best qualities of blogging, it's the Olympics." DC-based Pew Internet and American Life Project Dir Lee Rainie: "In essence, this is the first Web 2.0 Olympics." The IOC considers blogging a "legitimate form of personal expression," so bloggers "don't need -- nor can they get -- media credentials unless they're already members of the news media." Ratner notes the IOC during the Beijing Games for the first time will "allow athletes and coaches to blog ... so long as they don't reveal information about or interview one another" (Baltimore SUN, 4/13).

CANADA: Calgary Olympic Development Association President & CEO Guy Huntingford said that while the new Canadian Centre of Sports Excellence in Calgary will "start taking shape next month, it's not likely to be ready before the 2010 Vancouver Olympics." In Calgary, Stephane Massinon reported "initial site preparation work has already begun, but the physical construction of the $260[M] centre located at Canada Olympic Park will begin next month" (CALGARY HERALD, 4/13).

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