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London 2012 Olympics withdraw film after seizures

5 Jun 2007

The London 2012 Olympics organising committee have withdrawn animated footage produced to promote the launch of their logo, after it triggered seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy.

The charity Epilepsy Action was contacted by a number of people after the footage was shown on TV news programmes on Monday. One section of the footage showed a diver jumping into a swimming pool, where the pool then turned into a moving multi-colour pattern which was displayed across the whole screen for around six seconds.

A spokesman for London 2012 said: "We have been notified of the problem and we have taken immediate steps to remove the animation from the website. We will now re-edit the film."

Professor Graham Harding, a leading expert in the field of photosensitive epilepsy, confirmed that the animated footage has failed to meet the safety guidelines laid down by the UK broadcasting watchdog Ofcom, and should not have been screened.

A spokesman for Epilepsy Action said:

"The animated footage could affect the 23,000 people in the UK who have photosensitive epilepsy and may also affect other people who do not yet know that they are photosensitive. We are grateful to the Olympics Committee for withdrawing the animated footage and we hope that this version of the animated footage is not screened further until it is known that it poses no risk to people who are photosensitive.

"People can strive for years to gain seizure control and it is important that nothing puts this at risk. For people who have had complete seizure control, having a breakthrough seizure could have a huge impact on their lives and could affect their employment, education and social opportunities, not least through the loss of a person's driving licence."