Bamba baby won't be Olympic mascot

Olympic C'tee rescinds decision to make Osem company character Israeli mascot at 2012 games following harsh public criticism of move.

March 13, 2012 19:47
1 minute read.
Baby from Osem's peanut snack Bamba

Bamba baby 370. (photo credit: Osem website)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


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.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.

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.”

Meanwhile, protesters criticized the move as an unethical partnership between corporate money and the Olympic team.

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.”

The 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 team.


Culture and Sport Minister Limor Livnat on Tuesday also criticized the decision to use a commercial figure as the Olympic mascot.

Livnat said the Olympic Committee “should listen to public opinion and reconsider its choice.”

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.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night