The International Olympic Committee takes branding and sponsorship very, very seriously. During the Olympic Games, athletes aren’t even allowed to appear in advertisements for companies that are not official Olympic sponsors. Simply put, they want as close to 100% of the control over marketing as they can possibly have. Apparently that goes for condoms as well.
The photo that you see above was tweeted by Australian BMX cyclist Caroline Buchanan. As you can see, it shows a bucket of condoms with a clever tag line of “Kangaroo condoms, for the gland down under.” The problem is the condoms were not made by Durex, which is the official condom supplier for the London Olympics. Yes, they have one of those.
“We will look into this and ask that they are not handed out to other athletes because Durex are our supplier,” a spokeswoman for the London Olympic organizers told the Guardian.
The condoms in the quirky basket were produced by Durex rival company Ansell Ltd. from Australia and the privately-owned British firm Pasante. Spokespeople from those companies said they have no association with the London Olympics and suggested it could be a prank. If not, it’s tremendous guerilla advertising.
While it may sound strange that an “unauthorized” bucket of condoms could cause this much of a stir, we’re used to it by now. Durex provided 150,000 free condoms in dispensers around the Olympic Village for the 10,000-plus athletes taking part in the Games. In Vancouver, the Olympic Village required an emergency shipment of condoms because the athletes blew threw the original supply. As Hope Solo could tell you in detail, sex in the Olympic Village is big business. Might as well make it safe.Google+