UPDATED with latest: NBCUniversal has responded to the news that Toyota has pulled its Olympics advertising in Japan, where the majority of the country doesn’t want to host the Games mid-pandemic.
“Toyota is all systems go,” said an NBCU spokesperson of advertising stateside. “Toyota is not adjusting any U.S. marketing plans for the Olympics. Nothing has been cancelled or altered.”
NBCU says that the world’s second-largest car manufacturer is only adjusting their plans and creative messaging in the Games’ home country.
“No advertiser in the US has asked to cancel their Olympics plans,” affirmed the spokesperson.
Demand from advertisers has been “robust,” said NBCU television and streaming chairman Mark Lazarus in June. There were more than 100 total advertisers for the Rio Games. With a month left, NBCU said it already had more than 120, and more than 80 of them are new.
PREVIOUSLY on Sunday: The bad news just keeps coming for the Tokyo Olympics organizers and the International Olympic committee. Athletes are testing positive for Covid-19. Daily new Covid cases in the country have doubled in under a month. Polls have found that the vast majority of Japanese citizens don’t want the games to happen right now. Even Emperor Naruhito said he was “extremely worried” that the Olympics could accelerate the spread of the virus.
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And now, arguably the country’s best-known company, Toyota Motor, has said it won’t be airing any commercials in Japan related to the Tokyo Olympics amid the public disdain for the Games. The auto makers’ president and other executive won’t attend the opening ceremony, either.
The daily Yomiuri reported the news on Monday, citing senior company executive.
“The Olympics is becoming an event that has not gained the public’s understanding,” the story quoted the executive as saying. Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda is expected to skip the opening ceremony, according to the report.
Nikkei Asia quoted Tokyo 2020 spokesperson Masa Takaya saying, “Of course…there is mixed public sentiment towards the Games…There must be a decision by each company in terms of how they should be able to convey their messages to the public from its corporate perspective.”
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