Editor's comment: Olympics sponsor brands must take some blame for bad press

Another day and another national newspaper has a pop at 'corporates' for commercialising the Olympics.

The cynical tone of a recent piece by Mail columnist Stephen Glover, in a rage at the idea of London 2012 sponsor brands' employees taking part in the torch relay, is now pretty much standard in press coverage of brands' involvement in the Games.

Can we blame the media for its distrust? So far, Olympics sponsors have been uncharacteristically shy about how their millions support the Games and the athletes. Lord Coe does his bit, and Procter & Gamble's 'Proud sponsors of mums' campaign deftly makes that connection between brand and the 2012 Olympics.

Camelot managing director Andy Duncan has spotted the gap, and feels emboldened enough to make the claim that the majority of sponsors have 'very little to do with the Olympics'.

Marketers know Duncan's claims are opportunistic. However, until McDonald's and its peers stand up and promote the benefit of their sponsorship, the public will remain in blissful ignorance. Hardly marketing gold.

Back to the future for Unilever
The latest step in Unilever's shift from logic to magic (page 5) has a retro feel about it. Those interested in advertising history will know that in 1899, the brand-owner set up an internal agency, Lintas, which eventually broke away.

Unilever's hiring of two senior in-house creatives is not of that ilk, but will this duo provide the internal catalyst that Unilever senior vice-president of marketing Marc Mathieu so passionately wants?

When Mathieu and his boss, chief marketing officer Keith Weed, made their 'more magic, less logic' rallying cry to agencies late last year, those in the know were sceptical of such a fundamental shift in Unilever's approach.

That call, from within a company whose conservatism has done its business no harm at all, helped Weed win The Marketing Society's Marketer of the Year Award on Monday night.

Now that Mathieu has put Unilever's money where his mouth is, will we see a flowering of its advertising, where the creative approach of Lynx and Dove become the norm across the board? We await, with high hopes, the proof of Mathieu's creative pudding.

Follow me on Twitter: @n_mcelhatton


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now


Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message