Belief in brand myth brings blushes to lady footballers

It's your own fault!  Usually as quick to pour scorn on the incompetence of others as he is to praise himself those who rightly deserve it, the IPKat has nothing but sympathy for the poor soul (not to be confused with Seoul) who, in his or her befuddled state of LOSS (London Olympics Stress Syndrome), managed to line up a series of portraits of the North Korean ladies' football team with an image of the South Korean flag (see Telegraph, here).

Members of the North Korean ladies' soccer team
demonstrate that it is possible to have sports kit
that doesn't bear the emblems of adidas or Nike...
To anyone who knows anything about branding, the mistake is a perfectly obvious and reasonable one.  "North Korea" is a geographical concept that does not exist as a political entity: the state which we refer to as North Korea is properly called "The Democratic People's Republic of Korea" [for which, says Merpel, read "Miserable Dictatorship and one of a tiny handful of countries in which there the IPKat has no readers]. "South Korea", for all its sins, is properly called the Republic of Korea and, unlike its misanthropic neighbour, is actually a democracy in which ordinary folk -- "people", if you like -- get a chance to vote their government out office, buy uncool Samsung tablet computers instead of Taiwan-manufactured Apple iPads and to read this weblog. 
North Korea's brand myth that it is a democratic republic doesn't fool its own citizens, or indeed most of the rest of the world.  However, in Glasgow last night, here was clear evidence that someone actually believed the lie and chose for the Democratic Republic of Korea the flag of the bit of Korea that is indeed a democratic republic.

On the subject of convenient fictions, readers may be curious to know how a ladies' football match in the London Olympics is taking place in Glasgow which, according to some opinions is around 350 miles (550 km) north of the Olympic epicentre and which is believed by some folk to be in a different country, Scotland. There are several plausible explanations for this:

  • The Scots were persuaded to withdraw their own bid to host the 2012 Olympics in return for a chance to hold some ladies' football matches;
  • The London organisers decided that it was cost-effective to outsource some of their events to relatively low-cost zones such as Glasgow and Cardiff;
  • The Scots were morally entitled to receive something since the cost of bidding for and securing the Olympics was paid for by Scottish as well as English taxpayers;
  • This was a gesture of solidarity with one half of the citizens of Glasgow, a sort of consolation prize for losing Rangers FC to decent competitive football between now and the next Olympics.

Belief in brand myth brings blushes to lady footballers Belief in brand myth brings blushes to lady footballers Reviewed by Jeremy on Thursday, July 26, 2012 Rating: 5


  1. Thoroughly enjoyed the ladies footie in 'low -cost' Cardiff. Even lower cost for some, as freebie tickets had been doled out to school kids about a week before the game.

    As a Chelsea (?) fan Jeremy, I think you'd appreciate the joys of the ladies' game, with its error prone entertainment and, ahem, its absence of foul language and cynicism.

  2. It's an easy mistake to make. A number of years ago I was involved in assessing the patent filing programmes of our competitors and an American telecoms firm had consistently applied for patents in the DPRK rather than the RoK

  3. Well we all know the key is in the name. Any country with the word Democratic in their name is not.

  4. I think that's a little hard on São Tomé and Príncipe.


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