City buys into ads on giant TV

The Olympic branding will be mounted on the TV from May
The Olympic branding will be mounted on the TV from May
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A BID to mount “imposing” Olympics advertising around the city’s big-screen TV has been given the go-ahead despite opposition from heritage groups.

Bright yellow branding for London 2012 is to be fixed to the Festival Square screen – owned by the Olympic organisers – from May after planning chiefs approved the application amid concerns the advertising would detract from the “character of the conservation area”.

Heritage body the Cockburn Association objected on grounds of aesthetics, saying it was “too imposing” for the Lothian Road location.

In a written challenge, the group said: “The screen is, with its grey metal cladding, not overtly visually intrusive. Even though it is a temporary structure, it will set an unwelcome precedent for the future.

“In order not to detract from the setting of nearby listed buildings and the character of the conservation area, adverts should not be more intrusive than the screen itself.”

Euan Leitch, assistant director of the Cockburn Association, said it was “unsurprising” the planning bid had succeeded but said all eyes would be on the fate of the big screen after the Olympics.

“The big screen is not an attractive feature and this advertising has made it even less attractive,” he said.

“The Olympic organisers have also applied to extend the length of time the TV will be there by one year while they decide where to reposition it.

“It’s an ugly box and wherever it goes it’s going to be unsightly.”

A spokeswoman for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog) said: “The branding is funded by Locog and will be in place from May and during the Games until September.

“The objection to the branding has been resolved.”

Councillor Steve Cardownie, the city’s festivals and events champion, said: “Over the next few months the big screen will really come into its own.”