British Optical Shop Turns Olympics Gaffe into Ad Campaign

It certainly didn’t seem that there would be any positive reactions to last week’s Olympics blunder that caused the image of a South Korean flag to be displayed on the big screen in Scotland’s Hampden Park as the North Korean women’s soccer team took the field. To say that the two countries are bitter rivals is putting it mildly — we’re not talking Red Sox/Yankees here, we’re talking major and long-standing diplomatic and political conflict.

Reactions were, therefore, what one might expect. Supporters of the North Korean team were understandably horrified, and the team itself walked off the field in protest, refusing to return for over an hour. Obligatory finger-pointing and apologies followed.

But one bold reaction to the gaffe was a bit less standard, and has come from a British optical shop in the form of a new advertising campaign. According to Reuters, Specsavers, a chain of contact lens and glasses sellers, often uses ads featuring embarrassing cases of mistaken identity to urge customers to get their eyes checked, the tagline being: “Should have gone to Specsavers.” In keeping with that theme, the company has taken out advertisements in national newspapers (image above) suggesting that the whole faux pas could have been avoided, had Olympics officials only visited a Specsavers for an eye exam prior to the game.

Somehow, I’m not sure the London-based video producer who was found to be at fault for the mix-up will see the humor in the ad. No pun intended.