Toyota will not air any Olympic-themed TV commercials on Japanese television networks in light of rising Covid-19 infections and increasingly polarized public sentiment in the host country of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics , AP News reported.
This despite the fact that the automaker is one of the main commercial sponsors of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and the company also announced that its chief executive Akio Toyoda will not attend the opening ceremony.
The Japanese automaker had expressed concerns about the public reaction to the Olympics as early as May, Nikkei Asia wrote, as Japanese athletes were already facing social media calls to denounce the event. “As a sponsor, we are saddened that some people’s anxiety is directed at the athletes. We sincerely want all athletes and people to be able to host the Tokyo Games without worry, ”said Jun Nagata, Toyota Communications Director.
This hope was not found as consumers became critical of the Tokyo Olympics, and instead negative tweets containing the words “Olympics” and “Toyota” overtook the positives with those words – keys, according to a Nikkei study via social media analysis tool Social Insight.
That said, the Japanese automaker will still supply 3,340 vehicles, including battery and fuel cell electric vehicles for the transport of athletes and staff, almost the same number as initially planned, reported. Nikkei Asia. This will also include the provision of robots for use at various sites, and Toyota will continue to promote the athletes it sponsors on its website.
“There are many issues with these Games that are proving difficult to understand,” Nagata told reporters earlier this week. Toyota will nonetheless continue to support its athletes at the Games, Nagata added, and around 200 athletes at the Olympics and Paralympics are affiliated with the Japanese auto giant, according to the report.
Meanwhile, the automaker has no plans to change its marketing plans for the Olympics in the United States, Toyota Motor North America said in a statement.
“Toyota’s global Olympic and Paralympic advertising campaign media plan is managed by individual companies and regions. In Japan, the local Toyota office previously decided not to broadcast the campaign out of sensitivity to the Covid-19 situation in that country, ”the North American division said.
“In the United States, the campaign has already aired nationally and will continue to air as planned with our media partners during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” he continued. At the time of writing, the already delayed Tokyo Olympics are expected to go ahead despite the Japanese capital being put on a state of emergency.
Toyota signed with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as a global Olympic sponsor in 2015 with an agreement spanning 2017 to 2024 and valued at nearly US $ 1 billion (RM 4.23 billion) , thus becoming the first automaker to join the CIO in its -level marketing program, AP News wrote.