Toyota withdraws Olympic ads from Japanese television

The move comes on top of growing resentment against the Summer Games.

Auto maker Toyota will not broadcast any Olympic Games-themed commercials on Japanese television. The news comes days before the kick-off of the world sporting event on July 23, 2021 in Tokyo.

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda and other executives will also not attend the opening ceremony. Japan Times quoted the automaker’s spokesperson as saying, “It is true that Toyota will not attend the opening ceremony, and the decision was made taking into account various factors, including the absence of spectators. . We will not be showing any Games related advertising in Japan. “

Domestic sponsors had disbursed a record amount of over $ 3 billion and then a few million more to offset expenses related to the Games being delayed due to COVID. (The 2020 Summer Olympics were originally scheduled to take place in Tokyo last year, but have been postponed due to the pandemic.)

The move adds weight to growing resentment against the Summer Games which was heightened when Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga placed the capital Tokyo under its fourth COVID-related emergency to stop the resurgence of infections.

Nearly seven in ten respondents said they believe the Games cannot be held safely, according to a new poll from The Asahi Shimbun’s, a major Japanese newspaper.

This is a major obstacle and an embarrassment for the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Toyota is not only one of the most important and trusted brands in Japan, it is also a global sponsor of the Olympic Games; an agreement first signed in 2015 for an eight-year period worth nearly $ 1 billion.

Marie A. Evans