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Wrestling match over Interactive Male logo at an end

Canadian Olympic Committee decides against legal action

MAN ON MAN. On the left the Canadian Olympic Committee's wrestling logo for the 1970 Olympics and on the right the logo for Interactive Male.

The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) has decided not to challenge a Canadian gay cruising site after claiming the gay website’s logo looked too much like a wrestling logo used in the 1970 Olympic games.

Interactive Male, a Vancouver-based phone and web chat line for gay and bisexual men, has been wrestling with the COC for nearly four years over its application with the Canadian Trademark Office. 

The company’s logo, an M manipulated to look like two guys hugging, holding hands, jerking each other off (pick one) bears a resemblance to Olympic wrestling symbols used in the 1970s, the COC argued previously.

Chris Rudge, the COC’s chief executive officer, says the COC has changed its mind on the logo, expressing little interest in pursuing legal action against Interactive Male.

“Upon looking at the image that this organization has on its website I would agree with them that it would be absurd for us to be protesting this,” Rudge told the Canadian Press on Jul 7.

“They would be free to use [the logo], from my perspective.”

Interactive Male is smitten by the COC’s decision.

“I am tickled pink over the whole thing,” Joe Rachert, senior manager with Interactive Male, told the CP. “We have invested huge in this for five years. The idea of having to rebrand and recommunicate with your audience, [we have] no desire to do that.

Rachert says Interactive Male’s logo is “completely representational” of the gay community. “We get it right away,” he told the Canadian Press. “We know what that is. It’s two men looking at each other.”

He called COC’s decision to back off an “enormous relief” to his company.

“This means now we don’t have to rebrand. We don’t have to go out and change our logo,” he says.

The winter Olympics hits Vancouver in 2010 and Rachert says Interactive Male is behind it 100 percent percent.

“The Olympics are going to bring a ton of business to this city,” he says. “We want to be part of that.”