Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Brand Cleaning

I first saw this over at Thinking by Peter Davidson: The Olympics in Athens are trying to maintain a "brand clean" environment.  From the article referenced by Peter:

". . .  the organizers of the Athens games have warned spectators that they could be barred for taking a surreptitious sip of Pepsi or an illicit bite from a Burger King Whopper.

Strict regulations published by Athens 2004 last week dictate that spectators may be refused admission to events if they are carrying food or drinks made by companies that did not see fit to sponsor the games.

Sweltering sports fans who seek refuge from the soaring temperatures with a soft drink other than one made by Coca-Cola will be told to leave the banned refreshment at the gates or be shut out. High on the list of blacklisted beverages is Pepsi, but even the wrong bottle of water could land spectators in trouble.

Fans will be allowed into the Olympic complex if they are drinking Avra, a Greek mineral water owned by Coca-Cola, which paid $60 million US for the privilege of being one of the main sponsors. Officials are under orders not to let in rival brands' bottles unless the labels are removed.

Staff will also be on the lookout for T-shirts, hats and bags displaying the unwelcome logos of non-sponsors. Stewards have been trained to detect people who may be wearing merchandise from the sponsors' rivals in the hope of catching the eyes of television audiences. Those arousing suspicion will be required to wear their T-shirts inside out."

If they actually happen to be successful, is this something that could happen here at our sports and entertainment venues?  Personally, I think that the security and event staff have enough to do managing the crowd without being on the lookout for "bad" logos.

In another Olympic story, MSNBC is reporting that the Athens Olympics mascots are having a hard time in the press.  From the article:

Olympic mascots Phevos and Athena, siblings named for a pair of Greek deities, are catching an ungodly amount of abuse around Athens.

The pair were derided in various news articles, described as animated condoms and mutants from a nuclear meltdown. Their names were co-opted by anti-Olympic activists, who promptly firebombed two government vehicles in February.

NBC announcer Bob Costas maligned the mascot as “a genetic experiment gone horribly, ghastly wrong.”

I'm sure that wearing Phevos and Athena logos won't be banned, but it sounds like it should be.

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