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Dow logo sacked; is sponsorship of Olympic games next?

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"There will definitely not be any Dow Chemical branding on the [stadium] wrap before, during or after the Olympic Games," announced a spokeswomen for the London 2012 organizing committee.

The October 18 development marks progress in a global campaign to shame Dow into admitting accountability to victims of the Union Carbide pesticide plant explosion in Bhopal in 1984. Dow merged with UC in 1999, yet has denied liability for the ongoing suffering of tens of thousands.

In 2010, Dow signed a 10-year deal with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as "Worldwide Olympic Partner." IOC rules forbid advertising on game venues, but Dow is paying for the $11 million fabric wrap encircling the stadium, and had planned to emblazon its logo on five "test panels" in preparation for the games.

As GroundTruth reported in October, victims of the Bhopal disaster, including the International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal, have been working with Members of Parliament in Britain to remove Dow as sponsor of games. Pulling the logo signals that public outrage and political pressure is having an impact.

Some in India's government, the Sports Ministry, and the Indian Olympics Association (IOA) have joined in the campaign. IOA acting president VK Malhotra told The Times of India that removal of Dow's logo is not enough: "Our demand is that Dow should be removed as a sponsor and we have expressed strong reservation with the Olympics. We are sending our communication to Dow as well as IOC on this regard."

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