By Rosemary Pollock
New Deseret Book Olympic 'CTR' Charm Leads to Controversy
New Deseret Book Olympic "CTR" Charm Leads to Controversy
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH --A new product, by SymbolArts and available at
Deseret Book, has added fuel to the fire in the debate that the
perception of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games are actually the "Mormon
Games," a moniker SLOC President Mitt Romney and officials from The
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints call destructive and
devisive. The product conflicts with a Salt Lake Organizing Committee
policy that prohibits official licensees from using religious symbols
on 2002 Olympic Winter Games merchandise.
The debate, that has raised eyebrows and demanded an explanation, is
over a charm imprinted with the CTR logo, or "Choose The Right,"
available in three primary colors. But SLOC spokeswoman Caroline Shaw
said the committee won't demand the product be pulled from the shelf.
"The SLOC licensing manager who approved it made a mistake," Shaw
said. "Given the fact that we approved the intial artwork, we're not
going to be heavy handed toward the licensee." The SLOC did, however,
instruct the Ogden-based SymbolArts to cease production and limit the
number to the 5,000 that were delivered three weeks ago.
In response to the limitation, Deseret Book is marketing the item as
a numbered collectible. "This is a fun way for our younger customers
to have their own keepsake for the Olympic Games," said Brent Sever,
Marketing Retail Account Manager. "With the limited number available,
we feel they'll be very popular." Shaw drew the line between
approving the product and endorsing it. "It's not our official
charm," Shaw said.
The controversial charm will be one of two products that Deseret Book
has produced in celebration of the Games. Authors Lee Benson and
Susan Easton Black have recently published a beautiful collection of
full color photographs of Olympic venues with a narration on the
history of the Games and Utah's efforts to host them. "Salt Lake
2002," will also feature brilliant images of the Beehive State by
award-winning photgrapher John Telford.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spokesman, Mike
Leatham, explained that SymbolArts has a contract with the Church to
produce 500,000 CTR rings. He likened the charms to pins with green
Jell-O and Mormon muffins, all icons associated with Utah culture.
The charms sell for $4.95 and were available starting May 7, at all
Deseret Book stores.
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Deseret Book Press Release