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Posted 16 May 2001   For week ended May 18, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 15May01

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.


LDS Slogan Leading a Charmed Life
Salt Lake Tribune 12May01 D4
By Linda Fantin: Salt Lake Tribune

Culture Vulture: Stir it up
Salt Lake Tribune 11May01 D4

Charming Olympic Collectibles Offered by Deseret Book
Deseret Book Press Release


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