Toyota reportedly will not run any ads related to the Olympics in Japan, despite being one of the event's biggest sponsors. And Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda will not attend the Olympics opening ceremony, set to take place this Friday.
The media plan for Toyota’s Olympic and Paralympic global ad campaign is managed by individual countries and regions. In Japan, the local Toyota office previously decided not to air the campaign out of sensitivity to the COVID-19 situation in that country, according to a Toyota spokesperson.
“In the U.S., the campaign has already been shown nationally and will continue to be shown as planned with our media partners during the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020,” said a Toyota Motor North America spokesperson.
As of late May, Toyota Motor North America was emphasizing its support of the Paralympics.
CNN Business and other publications are reporting that the automaker will not run any spots related to the Tokyo Games, choosing instead to run its "regular" ads in Japan.
“The representative, Hideaki Honma, emphasized Monday that the company was not 'canceling' any Olympics-related commercials, saying that none were planned in the first place,” per CNN Business.
Japan is under a state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and there has been increasing pressure to cancel the Games for a second year in a row. Spectators are not allowed at the event due to public health concerns.
Toyota is one of the Olympics' top sponsors, along with Coca-Cola, Samsung and Visa.