Cheeky Olympic tote bag receives some thumbs-down on Facebook

25 Jul 2012

A range of cheeky tote bags for already Olympic-weary Londoners have been selling out as soon as new stock becomes available online, but one about Americans in particular isn’t sitting well with some internet users.

That Big Event in London – Reality Check Souvenir Bags – as well at T-shirts – feature slogans such as ‘They’re all on steroids’, ‘It only took me three hours to get to work this morning’, and ‘I’m renting my flat to a fat American family’.

Displeasure with the ‘fat American’ slogan is apparent on That Big Event in London – Reality Check Souvenir Bags’ Facebook page.

“The nice thing about this is that this is capitalism at its best. Your ‘fat American’ bag has inspired me to create my own. It is called ‘The fat American family who rented your London flat, just sold your s—’. U.S.A.,” John Scheiner posted on the Facebook page.

User Pamela polo (Dopeydora) wrote, “I wonder how many other host countries of the Olympic Games had the brainwave or audacity to insult their paying foreign visitors with cheap offensive sarcasm/jibes.”

Derek Bryan replied with sarcasm of his own: “What a way to impress our visitors.”

However, American tourists in Britain are buying the ‘fat American’ bags, according to Toby Leigh, the designer of the bags and T-shirts.

Or at least, the “99 per cent of Americans who have a sense of humour”, Leigh told The Toronto Star.

The negative reaction doesn’t seem to be hurting sales online, either. On Monday, a new batch of the ‘steroid’ and ‘three hours to get to work’ bags became available again online, but the stock only lasted for a day, Facebook user Kerstin Roy bemoaned on the Facebook page.

The bag and T-shirts all cost £15 each.

The London 2012 Olympics kick off on Friday.


Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic