Olympics 2012: BBC Forced To Move Cameras To Avoid Sponsor Logo (Report)

london 2012 olympics logo

The British broadcaster adjusted camera angles to avoid giving free advertising to Dow Chemical.

British public broadcaster the BBC were forced to move their cameras after inadvertently giving free advertising to Dow Chemical in the buildup to the Olympics opening ceremony.

The Guardian newspaper website reports that the BBC had to reposition cameras in their London 2012 Olympic Park studio to avoid showing a giant Dow Chemical billboard positioned outside the studio windows. The billboard was clearly visible to viewers behind the BBC's studio presenters during the channel's countdown to Danny Boyle's opening ceremony July 27.

Dow is an official, if controversial, Olympics sponsor, having signed a $100 million, 10-year-deal with the International Olympics Committee in 2010. But the BBC's own guidelines forbid the publicly-financed network from giving undue prominence to commercial brands.

An average of more than 10 million viewers watched the BBC1's Olympic countdown show, which drew a peak audience of almost 19 million. The Dow billboard also was visible during the BBC1's first Olympic breakfast program, which drew a peak audience of nearly 3 million.

Dow reportedly paid more than $1.5 million (£1 million) for the billboard, about the size of two tennis courts, which is positioned at a shopping center near the Olympic Park and will remain up for a 12-week period covering both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

A BBC spokesman said they shifted the camera positions in the Olympic studio as soon as they became aware of the problem. The logo was nowhere to be seen during the BBC1's 9am Olympic broadcast the following morning, July 28.