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IBM's Olympic brand madness

Any other make of computer has to be taped up

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IBM is among a range of other "global brands" to have gone completely insane and paid for the privilege of removing competitors from the confines of the Sydney Olympics. In the good old days, corporate sponsoring consisted of billboards and logos on tickets etc etc but now where money is more important than anything else (this is the Olympics for chrissakes), sponsors are asked (and happily pay) to cough up more cash to have competitors removed.

People entering the Olympic gates are searched for knifes, bombs ... and Pepsi cans. We're serious. Possessing a can of Pepsi is enough to block entry because Coca-Cola is one of the sponsors. There is also an official beer and an official wine - don't think you're allowed to drink anything else. Whatever happened to the capitalist idea of choice?

Anyway, the interesting thing with IBM is that it was simply impossible to restrict people to IBM kit. And so it went for the next best thing - all non-IBM brands have to have black tape put over the logo. Honestly. We only wish we were there to create havoc by rushing about with a Time machine (untaped!) under our arm. Or perhaps an HP laptop with its initials proudly shining out. Can you imagine the knock-on effects? The whole world would fall apart.

This kind of lunacy is almost too much to take in. The Australian government even had to pass special laws to restrict advertising from other non-sponsor companies. What is going on? Is there nothing in the world that's soul can't be bought for a wodge of cash? Scary stuff indeed.

Personal experience for what it's worth

On a personal sidetrack, I was disgusted to find at a music festival this summer that I had the grand choice of one beer - won't say which but it's a top "brand" and tastes like shit. In the press area, this expanded to two. Why should I have to drink just one drink. I don't like it and it's going to make me like it less if I'm forced to drink it (well, actually, we resorted to smuggling).

One band that wasn't featured in any of the festivals was Radiohead. Why? Because it refused to play anywhere where there were corporate logos. Think of it this way: if you have a lot of bands, and a lot of people that will pay to see those bands, why do you need huge posters of multi-billion pound companies shoved in your face every two minutes? Anyone else getting increasing sick of all this? ®

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