Tuesday, June 05, 2007

London 2012 Logo: Alienating Londoners

In the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games’ (LOCOG) candidature file, two of the key ‘Priorities and potential’ targets were ‘harnessing London’s passion for sport’ and ‘Regenerating east London communities and their environment’. It reads ‘The Olympic Park will become a hub for east London, bringing communities together and acting as catalyst for profound social and economic change. It will become a model of social inclusion, opening up opportunities for education, cultural and skills development and jobs for people across the UK and London, but especially in the Lea Valley and surrounding areas’.

There are increasing signs that LOCOG is veering from that laudable ‘social inclusion’ path. LOCOG could have involved the local schools and colleges in helping to design a logo that accurately reflected the aims and prospects that London 2012 is supposed to bring to an area close to the city in terms of distance, but miles away in terms of socio-economic development. Nothing in LOCOG’s press release suggests even an attempt at canvassing public opinion. Instead, LOCOG commissioned Wolff Ollins to design a London 2012 logo at a reported cost of £400,000.

Unlike LOCOG’s decision to concrete over part of Hackney Marshes, the spiritual home of football where David Beckham learned his trade, this could become a PR disaster that cannot be swept under the carpet.

A campaign entitled ‘Change the London 2012 logo’ had gained almost 20,000 signatures at time of press, just a day after LOGOC launched the logo to widespread criticism. Mine is one of the signatures. The massive costs and lack of consultation with Londoners is in grave danger of alienating the very people the Games are supposed to involve.

 Andy Brown


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