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London Olympics chiefs defend logo

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LONDON, England -- London 2012 Olympics chiefs have defended the newly-unveiled logo following widespread public criticism that it was 'hideous' and a waste of money.

But there was more bad news for the organizers when they removed animated footage promoting the Games from their Web site amid claims the logo could trigger epileptic seizures.

The jagged emblem, based on the date 2012, was unveiled on Monday by Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London 2012 organizing committee.

An online petition calling for it to be scrapped has more than 17,000 signatures and thousands have ridiculed the design.

But a London 2012 spokesman told the BBC: "The emblem is flexible and will evolve over the next five years.

"Our emblem needs to be modern, bold, flexible and as relevant today as in five years' time.

"We want our Games to be different. We are hosting them in a different era, in 2012.

"The emblem needs to work across new platforms that reach young people."

Coe, the former 800 meters and 1,500m world record holder who won gold in the 1,500m at the 1980 and 1984 Olympics, also defended the logo designed by the Wolff Olins agency at a cost of 400,000 pounds.

"It won't be to be everybody's taste immediately, but it's a brand that we genuinely believe can be hard working... and reach out and engage young people, which is our challenge is over the next five years," he commented.

"It's not a logo, it's a brand that will take us forward for the next five years."
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