As the 2012 London Olympics sidle towards a grand beginning there is a palpable nervous energy on the island.
With rumors about Muhammad Ali being wheeled out to wave at the boxing fans and stories (perpetuated by spoiler-hungry journalists) about how fantastically impressive the Olympic opening ceremony has looked in rehearsals, it is a wonder anyone can talk about anything else.
However, there have also been reports of the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) hammering small retailers and potential advertisers, in a bid to protect their own lucrative backers.
Copyright has become a hot topic, but so has brand protection. Horror stories about fans wearing Pepsi t-shirts being ejected to protect Coca-Cola’s interests has forced mixed messages out of LOCOG.
Other harrowing tales have dripped out about the mascots, Wenlock and Mandeville (the two nightmarish, amorphous splodges thrown out to represent a diverse and historic island). Replicas and dolls have been produced, according to the Guardian newspaper, in “Chinese ‘sweatshop’ conditions.”
With constant reminders of security issues and logistical tie-ups on the roads, it is a time when PR people kick it into overdrive. The integrity and talent involved in the Games is highlighted at every opportunity, like a shiny distraction for us mewling punters.
So Boris Johnson, the guffawing Mayor of London, is shown talking of history and importance.
What do the mewling punters, who endure the horror stories and press releases simultaneously, do with pictures of the politician? They mash them up and rebrand them, of course.
Enjoy Twitter’s @Cassetteboy’s vision of ‘Boris Johnson’s Olympic Welcome.’