Ignoring the Olympics’ inconvenient truth

Are Olympics sponsors still feeling uneasy about linking themselves to China in the aftermath of unrest in Tibet and nearby regions? New advertising from Visa indicates as much. A commercial (viewable on a Visa microsite) sounds curiously defensive as it says, “We don’t always agree. But for a few shining weeks, we set it all aside. … We forget all the things that make us different, and remember all the things that make us the same.” At any rate, Visa and other sponsors must hope people do some forgetting. To look at the very handsome spot (via TBWA\Chiat\Day), you might think the Games are being held in L.A. or London or some other uncontroversial venue. (The word “China” goes unspoken.) When the spot identifies Visa as a “proud sponsor of the Olympic Games and the only card accepted there,” a viewer might wonder where “there” is.

—Posted by Mark Dolliver