London 2012 logo footage withdrawn amid epilepsy fears

LONDON (Reuters) - Animated footage promoting the logo for the 2012 London Olympic Games was removed from the organizers’ Web site on Tuesday amid concern it could trigger epileptic fits.

The new London Olympic Games 2012 emblem is seen in this handout photograph released in London June 4, 2007. REUTERS/London 2012/Handout

The video clip shows a diver plunging into a pool as part of a campaign to promote the jagged Olympic logo, a graffiti-like blow-up of the number 2012 in a range of colors including hot pink and electric blue.

A London 2012 spokeswoman said the concerns surrounded a four-second piece of animation shown at the logo’s launch on Monday and recorded by broadcasters.

Emphasizing that it was not the logo itself which was the focus of health worries, she said: “This concerns a short piece of animation which we used as part of the logo launch event and not the actual logo.”

“It was a diver diving into a pool which had multi-color ripple effects,” the spokeswoman said.

Critics of the emblem have described it as “hideous”, while organizers called it powerful and modern.

The clip’s removal follows comments by Professor Graham Harding, an expert in clinical neuro-physiology who developed a test used to measure photo-sensitivity levels in animated TV material.

“The logo should not be shown on TV at all at the moment,” Harding told the BBC. “It fails Harding FPA machine test which is the machine the television industry uses to test images.”

He said the footage did not comply with regulatory guidelines.

Charity Epilepsy Action noted there had been reports that people had had seizures while watching the animated footage.

The BBC reported on its Web site that a listener had rung its London radio station to say he and his girlfriend had suffered seizures while watching it.