I’ve been out to view the torch relay twice over the last couple of weeks to see it in action before it makes its way in to London. We have been looking a issues ranging from the vehicles in the convoy, to the local authority run evening celebrations, to the product and promotional items given out by the Presenting Partners.
The main beverage provider was only giving out its most high profile products which we were very disappointed to see. They did give out sugar free versions of it and weren’t giving it to children (just to adults who often then gave it to their children). However, they have a much broader product range including healthy options and giving out these as well would have provided a much better message around healthy living. We have raised this with LOCOG who have passed our comments onto the Partner but we haven’t seen any changes yet.
With the promotional giveaways LOCOG has tried to get its Partners to only give out items with a keepsake value – something that will get used again and not thrown away after the event. On the first visit to see the torch relay two of the partners seemed to have responded well to this with drums and ribbons – linking to ideas of movement and music – but the third partner was giving out Bam Bam sticks and flags. Bam Bams are inflated sticks that you clap together to make some kind of noise. These seem to have very limited value after the event and we even saw some sticks discarded on the floor before the torch had arrived.
We included this in our feedback to LOCOG after the event and I was intrigued when I saw the relay again in Gillingham this morning to find that there was not a Bam Bam stick in sight. I’m also told they weren’t seen in Ashford two days earlier. Has the Bam Bam been banned? I’d like to think so…