London prepared to grab Olympic spotlight

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The 2008 Olympic Games continue through Sunday in Beijing, but London’s tourism officials are already elbowing in and reminding the world where the 2012 Games will be held. Visit London, the official tourism body, is launching a £4m global ad campaign this week from WPP agency RKCR to promote the city as a tourist destination in the lead-up to the 2012 Games. The main image from the campaign is a picture of London taking up the entire globe—an image perhaps inspired by British maps from the glory days of the empire. The tagline is, "See the world. Visit London." James Bidwell, CEO of Visit London, is quoted as saying: "In the words of one of the finest English authors, Samuel Johnson, ‘There is in London all that life can afford,’ and as we prepare to host the greatest sporting event on earth our campaign shows there is no other place to be than here." The London 2012 committee itself is remaining quiet this week, either out of respect for the Beijing Games or lingering embarrassment over its logo.

—Posted by Tim Nudd