LONDON'S controversial 2012 Olympic logo is recognised by more than the world's population, the commercial director of the Games claimed today.


Chris Townsend claimed that the furore over the launch of the £400,000 Wolf Olins-produced design, including questions being asked in the House of Commons, had helped it establish itself far quicker than it would have been able to have done so otherwise.


In an interview published today in The Independent, he said: “Because of the success of the launch and the discussion through the internet we achieved within 18 weeks the level of recognition we were anticipating within 18 months.


"We achieved overall brand recognition across the UK of 85 per cent within three months and worldwide we believe the figure is significantly over 50 per cent.”


Townsend claimed that the sponsors backing London 2012 never had a problem with the design of the logo.


He said: “You would not have achieved that level of sponsorship without those partners endorsing the brand [logo] and the strategy and understanding how they can use it to get the return on investment they are looking for.”


The release of the logo in the colours of the Union flag to coincide with the Handover of the Games from Beijing to London earlier this year has also helped establish the logo's visibility, claimed Townsend.


He said: “The response to this Union Jack infill has been phenomenal.


"When you hold this image up against previous summer Games Olympic brands you see how revolutionary and leading edge this is, which is what we wanted and in truth what the International Olympic Committee were looking for.


"One of the most critical elements was to design an emblem that we could protect.


"We needed to ensure the mark would be instantly recognisable as our mark and that it was a mark we could register and protect around the world.


"This mark has a significant job to do - it’s got to generate revenue through sponsorship and has to generate revenue through merchandise.


“We’ve been told by organising committees of previous Olympic Games, including Sydney and Athens, that this is what typically happens in the life of a Games.


"It happened with Vancouver where they had significant negative feedback and a very conservative mark compared to ours.


"It happens all the time in the world of re-brands.


"BP had similar issues when they re-branded.


"It just seems par for the course.


“By 2012 we believe the majority of people will have accepted it as an iconic mark and one that I hope they will love.”


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