Dow to Remove Branding Around London 2012 Stadium
December 19, 2011
Dow Chemical have agreed to remove all its branding from the London Olympic stadium following protests over its links to 1984 Union Carbide Bhopal gas tragedy.
Under a £7 million ($10.8 m) deal, price Dow was to sponsor a fabric wrap that would surround the Olympic stadium in East London.
A report in The Sunday Express quoted the company as saying that it was agreeing to the “vision” of the 2012 Games by “waiving its sponsorship rights to place its brand on a controversial fabric wrap for the stadium”.
It also said that an unnamed artist working on the wrap had insisted on “artistic integrity’’ and this meant that Dow’s logo would not be used.
Dow spokesman Scott Wheeler said: “The agreement between Dow and Locog (the London Olympics organising committee) was limited to branding of five ‘test panels’ that were to be removed in the months before the Games and were not part of the final design. In mid-summer, Locog and Dow discussed Dow deferring the rights to these five panels to allow free and full execution of the design as determined by Locog. Dow agreed to this to support Locog’s and London 2012’s vision for the stadium wrap.”
The Indian Olympic Association, however, said that they would not settle just for the American corporation’s name being removed from the wrap, and that they wanted the chemical giant to end its association as the sponsors of the Games.
Reacting to the development, IOA acting president VK Malhotra said, “I have also heard about Dow Chemicals withdrawing their logo from the decorative wrap but I don’t know what it means. Our demand is that Dow should be removed as a sponsor. We are sending our communication to Dow as well as IOC on this regard.”
Welcoming the move to drop the logo, Barry Gardiner, MP Chair of Labour Friends of India, who led a campaign against the sponsorship, said: “This decision at last indicates Dow is showing some shame and that can only be positive. But we also hope any attempt by it to have a long-term involvement in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park are abandoned.”
But a new element of the sponsorship fiasco emerged as the Express claimed that it had information that Dow had been in talks with the Olympic Park Legacy Company about “partnership deals’’ in Olympic Park after the Games. The Park will be renamed Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park to mark her Diamond Jubilee celebration.