Bamba baby 370.
(photo credit: Osem website)
For decades he has been an Israeli icon, part of the backdrop of Israeli
consumer life, and over the years has made an appearance in virtually every
household in the country.
Still, Osem announced on Tuesday that the Bamba
baby logo will not serve as the mascot of the Israeli team at the 2012 Summer
Olympics in London, following an online campaign against the use of a commercial
symbol to represent the national delegation.
Earlier Tuesday, the Olympic
Committee called the Bamba baby “a sympathetic figure which has become a part of
the lives of every parent and child in Israel.”
criticized the move as an unethical partnership between corporate money and the
Activists behind last summer’s consumer-led “cottage cheese
Intifada” protest on Tuesday sent a letter to Israel Olympic Committee Director-
General Ephraim Zinger in which they said “the citizens of Israel are
embarrassed by your decision to sell the rights to the symbol and mascot of
Israel’s Olympic team for nothing, so a product can be marketed.”
Bamba baby’s brush with Olympic fame came after the Olympic Committee faced a
charge of copyright infringement due to a similarity between their
cactus-inspired character Shpitzik and Israel Educational Television’s famous
singing cactus Kishkashta. In February, the Tel Aviv District Court ruled in
favor of Israel Educational Television, and soon after the Bamba baby was on his
own way to London.
Reports have stated that Osem paid the Olympic
Committee NIS 150,000 to have the baby represent the Olympic
Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat on Tuesday also criticized
the decision to use a commercial figure as the Olympic mascot.
said the Olympic Committee “should listen to public opinion and reconsider its
Quality government watchdog Ometz threatened to take legal
action against the choice of the Bamba baby if the Olympic committee did not
choose to change the mascot itself.