Keeping it in the room: health, happiness and living in Berlin
The International Olympic Committee has said they are content with an anti-gay broadcast on Russian TV, that was shown complete with the Olympic rings.
Normally fiercely protective of their brand, the IOC has backed down in the face of the homophobic broadcast and the might of Russian prejudice, saying merely that ‘the IOC in no way shares the discriminatory views expressed by some participants in this programme.’
It continued: ‘The channel has acquired the right to broadcast the Sochi Games in the host country and has the symbol on display throughout its programming, but it does not indicate any IOC endorsement of the views expressed.’
The IOC and its president had previously identified brand protection as a top priority for Olympic organisers. In discussing the IOC’s marketing and TV efforts in the ‘manifesto’ he presented while running his ultimately successful campaign for IOC president earlier this year, Thomas Bach repeatedly stressed that television would be the best place to advance the Olympic brand and its ‘principles’.
The Olympic movement is infamous for being highly litigious, with the United States Olympic Committee [USOC] going to court in the early 1980s to prevent San Francisco Arts and Athletics Inc from holding a sporting event billed as the ‘Gay Olympic Games’. After going all the way to the Supreme Court, the event was renamed the ‘gay games’.
In 2012, the London Olympic Games organisers even got a protest group, @spacehijackers, banned from Twitter, for calling itself ‘the official protesters of the London 2012 Olympic Games’. They ended up removing an adulterated 2012 logo, and adding â„¢ after every word of its name in its online biog.