Sochi Olympic Flame Mishap Used In Public Relations Advert By Zippo
A cigarette lighter "looked set to spark an Olympian spat" Tuesday after an image of one relighting the Sochi 2014 torch "was used in advertising," according to R-SPORT. The 123-day Winter Games torch relay "began amid patriotic fanfare" on Moscow's Red Square on Monday, but the ceremony "was overshadowed by the flame having gone out the day before during a tour around the Kremlin." An official manning the route "rekindled the flame with what appeared to be a Zippo cigarette lighter, breaching rules that state only Olympic lanterns brought from Greece may provide backup." The Pennsylvania-based Zippo company "took full advantage Tuesday, however, posting a screen grab of the moment on its Facebook page Tuesday with the hashtag #ZippoSavesOlympics." The post "has gone viral" in next year’s host nation with more than 2,400 “likes.” But the move "could be in breach of Russian law" banning Olympic symbols from being used in advertising without official approval. Sochi 2014 organizing committee President Dmitry Chernyshenko said on Twitter he is aware of the ad and “is working on this.” Since the lighter incident, the flame "has gone out at least twice more on its journeys around Moscow, but was swiftly relit in a more official manner" (R-SPORT, 10/8).