JERUSALEM (AP) — In the end, Israelis didn’t want their Olympic athletes at London’s Summer Games to be represented by a red-haired baby in blue diapers.
The Israeli Olympic Committee unveiled “Baby Bamba,” which advertises a popular peanut snack made by Osem, as the team’s mascot earlier this week.
The committee and the company decided to withdraw the choice “after listening to the reactions of the public,” Osem said in a statement. The company still will sponsor the team.
Critics said the mascot was undignified and a sign of commercialism taken too far.
Israeli Olympic chief Ephraim Zinger defended the initial choice, telling Israel’s army radio Wednesday that the team needs commercial sponsors because public funds fall short.