29 March 2007

The red tape is now black for your convenience

'This is a personal question, but when you visit a public convenience do you notice who made the ceramic furniture? Does your heart lift when you see "Armitage Shanks" on the cistern? Can you think about anything else for the rest of the day?

Bureaucrats at the cricket World Cup are worried that spectators will leave with only urinals on their mind, which hardly says much for their faith in the quality of the cricket. At grounds across the Caribbean, strips of black tape have appeared across the makers' names on toilets, soap dispensers and hand dryers. Tape has also been put across fax machines, telephones and televisions. There has been so much black tape that one journalist wondered whether it was an odd way of marking the death of Bob Woolmer, the Pakistan coach.

But no. The International Cricket Council (ICC), the body that runs the game, fears that sponsors (or "official partners") will lose out with so many other brands about to grab the attention. There may not be an "official lavatory bowl partner", but if a product has a name on it, it must be covered over. It is a ludicrous example of the way accountants and lawyers control the game. Never mind match-fixing, cricket has a bigger problem with legal money'
- Patrick Kidd, 'Everything's banned at the accountancy World Cup', The Times, 29 March 2007
[Did you like the 'convenience' reference in the title?  A joke is always at its best if you have to point it out, I find]

No comments: