The Tokyo 2020 Olympics received a significant vote of no-confidence Monday when Automotive giant Toyota said they would not run Games-related TV commercials in Japan.
Jun Nagata, Toyota’s Operating Officer, said the company has taken the organizers’ “no-spectator” decision into consideration and decided it will not broadcast any of its Olympic-related commercials in the country during and after the Games.
Toyota’s move comes on the back of weeks of negative feedback and concerns about the Japanese capital’s ability to run a successful event.
A recent poll for The Asahi Shimbun newspaper found two-thirds of people surveyed doubt the country can host a safe and secure Olympics amid a fresh wave of coronavirus infections. Additionally, 55 per cent were against the Games going ahead.
Toyota Motor Corp. Chief Executive Officer Akio Toyoda and other executives will not attend the opening ceremony either.
“It is true that Toyota will not be attending the opening ceremony, and the decision was made considering various factors including no spectators,” a spokesperson said.
At this stage, Toyota has restricted the move to Japan and continues to program Olympics related advertising elsewhere in the world. According to a statement from Toyota Motor North America, the company will continue to run its ads on US broadcaster NBC for the duration of both the Olympics and Paralympics.
The pressure will now be on a further 60 Japanese corporations who have paid more than ¥330 billion for sponsorship rights at the 2020 Olympics. As part of those sponsorship rights, Toyota has provided the Games with vehicles and mobility-related services. The company has not withdrawn from sponsorship commitments made under the agreement.