The perils of trying to get down with the kids

Michael Skapinker:

London’s 2012 Olympics logo is in trouble again. The head of the company chosen to market the games struggled last week to find anything nice to say about the logo, which has been compared to crazy paving, graffiti or a broken swastika.
“For us, it is irrelevant whether we like it or not,” Brett Gosper, chief executive of McCann Worldgroup in Europe, told the Financial Times. Pressed on whether he would have designed a logo like that, he said: “Probably not.”
When the logo, dreamt up by brand company Wolff Olins, was unveiled in 2007, its defenders said it did not matter what the older generation thought. It was aimed at the irreverent, technology-loving young.
“Move over oldies. Who is doing the running anyway?” one defender of the logo wrote to the FT. “What has been delivered is a tag, to use the language of the street…If the logo appears sprayed on walls up and down the land, so be it.”
As someone who occasionally talks about journalism in schools, I find the logo useful. I show it to classes of teenagers, we discuss it and I then get them to write a column about it. They all recognise the logo – and they almost all loathe it.