Olympics: a double-edged sword for the print sector

By Simon Nias, Wednesday 18 July 2012

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With just seven days to go until the Olympics, the headlines have rightly focussed on the unmitigated disaster that is G4S's failure to fulfil its 284m contract to provide security for the London 2012 games. Meanwhile, for print the Olympics continues to be a double-edged sword.

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A straw poll by the BPIF last week found the majority of its members who bid for Olympic print contracts had been successful, while Olympic-sponsor GSK continues to boost print’s profile by adorning its west London headquarters with a second huge London 2012-themed design produced by Service Graphics.

However, the failure of LOCOG to award the £16m Olympic ticketing contract to a UK firm still rankles, while the rumour that the six-month-delayed contract that is claimed to have been the largest contributing factor in Gardners’ administration may have been some form of Olympic-related print – if true, would be a bitter pill.

As I say, this is only rumour at this stage and there has been no indication whether this alleged Olympic
contract was even official or simply for an unrelated third party hoping to promote its brand on the back of this summer’s games.

Coming back to LOCOG, this is one of it’s major bugbears and the reason that so many proud print providers to the games have been unable to talk about their involvement. Nominally, this is to protect the investment of sponsors; however, ironically, the sponsors – GSK is one – don’t seem to care, as they have been happy to highlight the work done by Service Graphics in delivering their second super-sized building graphic. Congratulations to both.

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