The 2021 Summer Olympics, set to be held in Tokyo starting Friday, are proving to be quite unpopular, at least in Japan. And apparently, Toyota has taken notice and pulled the plug on its planned local advertising during the Games.
We can see why the Games might not be popular, at least with the locals. There are concerns that even without spectators, the gathering of nations to play sports could lead to the spread of the coronavirus. That’s on top of the usual reasons why the Olympics piss people off — the corruption, the crass commercialism, the congestion that usually happens when tourists descend on the host city (though who knows how many will show during a pandemic), et cetera.
“The Olympics is becoming an event that has not gained the public’s understanding,” a Toyota spokesperson said, according to Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper. Toyota senior leadership won’t attend the Opening Ceremonies.
Toyota is one of the Olympics’ biggest sponsors, and all told, Japanese industry has poured $3 billion into the Games.
The carmaker had plans to do on-site marketing, too, but those were scuttled when spectators were barred from attending the Games.
The Games are getting the side-eye from locals because despite promises to keep the Olympic Village COVID-free, there have been over two dozen positive tests so far, and at least athlete seems to have left the Village, against regulations.
The Games were already delayed a year, and the drive for the almighty dollar kept them from being held back one more year, even if that would’ve been more prudent from a public-health perspective.
Toyota, for its part, saw which way the winds were blowing, so to speak, and decided it would rather not be associated with the Games this go-round.