Japanese car brand Toyota, a major sponsor of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, has cancelled all Olympics-related ads as public support of the Games continues to ebb.
While the Games are slated to begin in three days, 30 per cent of the Japanese population have had one shot of the vaccine and 80 per cent of the population are opposed to the Games. On July 15, Tokyo recorded its highest COVID-19 rates in six months.
Back in May, major Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbum publically called for the Games to be cancelled.
Toyota has now pulled all Olympics-related TV commercials – which would have featured Olympics athletes sponsored by the brand – from air in Japan.
A PR executive for Toyota told the Japanese daily newspaper Yomiuri that “the Olympics is becoming an event that has not gained the public’s understanding.”
The executive also confirmed that Toyota’s CEO, Akio Toyoda, would not attend the opening ceremony.
They are not the first sponsor company to pull Olympics ads. Ajinomoto, a food company, announced that they would not run Olympics ads during July.
According to The Associated Press, Masa Takaya, a spokesperson for Tokyo 2020, said that while “there is a mixed public sentiment to the games” the “partners and companies have been very supportive to Tokyo 2020. They are passionate about making these Games happen.”
There are currently 15 Japanese companies sponsoring the Olympic Games as Gold Partners. The sponsorships amount to approximately US$135 million (or AU$183.8 million) each.
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