Dow Reiterates Commitment To Olympics Despite Continuing Criticism
Dow Chemical said that it is "fully committed to providing the decorative wrap for London's Olympic stadium despite continuing criticism of its involvement," according to Martyn Herman of REUTERS. The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has "demanded [that] London 2012 terminates its deal with the US firm Dow Chemical because of its links to India's Bhopal gas disaster in 1984." Dow Olympic Operations VP George Hamilton said, "We are committed to our Olympic partnership, both in London and future Games and we are committed to delivering technology that makes it the most successful Games in the history of the Olympics." He added that Dow, an IOC TOP sponsor, is "looking forward to strengthening its partnership in the 2014 Sochi Winter Games and at Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and was undeterred by recent bad publicity." Hamilton: "We recognised when we became a sponsor that organisations and individuals would try and associate Dow with legacy issues. We were prepared for that. It's gone on longer than I would have anticipated but it doesn't change our resolve." Dow's plastics division is "providing the material for 336 panels that will adorn the outside of the Olympic Stadium during Games time before they are dismantled and re-used elsewhere." Hamilton said that the decorative wrap, initially "scrapped by the British government to save around [US$11.1M], was effectively a gift" to the British public. Speaking about the 25-meter high vertical panels, which "under IOC rules, will have no Dow company branding," Hamilton said, "What we are trying to do is throw in a little more light and colour" (REUTERS, 2/7).
KEEPING IT CLEAN: MARKETING magazine's Rachel Barnes noted Kimberly-Clark is one of "several companies that will find its brand logos at sporting venues being covered with masking tape ahead of the Olympics." As part of the Games’ "clean stadia policy," devised to "protect sponsors’ brand investment, audits are under way at venues, including Wimbledon and Wembley, to cover corporate branding." This will have the "biggest impact on brand manufacturers of toilets, sinks, tissue and soap dispensers." While guidelines state that "small logos on furniture will not be affected, a decision has been made to either remove logos or cover them if there is repetition of brand names" (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 2/7).