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OOPS... STOP PRESS: Cyprus to reprint ballot papers after Guinness gaffe

30 January, 2013

The government printing press in Cyprus started rolling again after a candidate in next month’s presidential elections used the Guinness World Records logo as his ballot logo without their permission.

The embarrassing moment will set cash-strapped taxpayers back by at least 40,000 euros with 80,000 of the 575,000 ballot papers that were recalled and destroyed already printed without the offending logo.
The head of the Interior Ministry’s Electoral Service, Demetris Demetriou, said that in a few days all of the existing ones will be replaced.
The candidate in question, Andreas Efstratiou, one of 11 hopefuls to replace outgoing communist President Demetris Christofias, held the world record in 2007 for creating the longest wedding dress trail. The Guinness company authorised Efstratiou to use its logo, which he did for the presidential elections in 2008 when he also ran and got 713 votes. According to Guinness, in 2011 he was deprived of this right and the company contacted the Ministry of the Interior, raising its objections as regards the use of its emblem on the ballot paper.
Demetriou said that the state will consider charging Efstratiou the cost of reprinting the ballot papers.
“If the candidate was found to violate the terms of his candidacy (using an unauthorised logo), surely he should be barred from the elections, charged for copyright theft and also told to pay the cost of reprinting,” said one elections commentator.