MediaCom ‘forced to bury’ Olympic support evidence

COI asks agency never to release research showing poor public backing for London 2012

COI Communications, the Government’s communications agency, has forced one of its roster media agencies to bury a damaging public survey showing that support for the 2012 Olympic games is far below officially published figures.

The survey, conducted by roster agency MediaCom, is understood to have shown public support to be “dramatically” lower than the figures distributed by the London 2012 bid team. Figures cited by London 2012, collated by ICM, put support for the games at as high as 69 per cent among Londoners.

It is understood that MediaCom conducted its survey earlier this year, with a view to advising the bid team on strategy. But the COI asked the agency to shelve the disappointing results and never mention them.

One source says: “The COI has said that never and under no circumstances can this data be released.”

The news comes at a crucial time for the bid, as members of the International Olympic Committee arrive in the UK this month to gauge public support, a key requisite for a city to be awarded the games in 2012.

The London bid team will unveil its formal bid later this week, when it will also kick off an international marketing campaign to raise its profile around the world. The IOC bars bidding cities from promoting themselves overseas until after it has received their bid books.

The COI was unavailable for comment as Marketing Week went to press.

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