Kevin Lynch, a Chicago ad executive, came forward today claiming to be the creator of ChicagoansForRio.com. The one-page website satirizes the Olympic bid race between Chicago and Rio and urges the International Olympic Committee to send the Olympics to Rio instead.
The Website is full of inaccuracies and exaggerations, and the spokesperson for the site – presumably Lynch himself – told GamesBids.com that his organization “bombarded” the International Olympic Committee with emails from visitors on the site urging them not to elect Chicago to host the Games. He added that the IOC responded, telling him that “we get the point”.
IOC Director of Communications denied these claims.
“As far as I know there is absolutely no truth to this story” he said.
This was apparently a “creative effort” and there seems to be no indication that the on-site video and citizen quotes are genuine.
It appears that this reckless and unethical effort to discredit the Chicago 2016 bid resides in Chicago – and that may be true, but GamesBids.com revealed possible links to computers in Rio de Janeiro as well.
I don’t think we’re getting the entire story here. Kevin Lynch kept himself anonymous and revealed himself only when forced to do so.
“We launched anonymously to draw more attention to the site. While frustrating for some people, it was inarguably a successful strategy” Lynch said in his blog. A successful strategy for what? Was he looking for a way to rise in the Twitter-sphere? Opposition group No Games Chicago made themselves very visible and got an audience with the IOC evaluation commission to effectively further their goals.
With his credibility clearly in question it’s difficult to determine his true motives and what he may be hiding.
Is the site a joke? Is it a hoax? A parody? Or, is it a genuine attempt to create valid opposition for Chicago’s bid for the 2016 Games? Since the latter would be an insult to real activists “No Games Chicago” – the site really is a fraud.
A skilled advertising executive who uses loosely assembled “facts” to make a point and fabricates a side story to escalate the appearance of it being effective – all for what appears to be a publicity stunt – has good reason to remain anonymous.