I often wonder what the marketing team at Speedo think about the Australian Leader of the Opposition, “Action Man” Tony Abbott, parading in their “flagship” togs during his morning swims and surf lifesaving duties. He’s not in bad shape for a man of his age but he’s no poster boy and his appearances on TV and in newspapers wearing just a little lycra have created howls of derision.
Speedo, the iconic Aussie “cossie” company (also known as “togs”, “swimmers”, “bathers” and “budgie smugglers” here) has been around for nearly a century, initially under the brand name “Fortitude”. It wasn’t until 1928 that the name Speedo was born after the slogan “Speed on in your Speedos” was created by a member of their staff for the new “racerback” costume.
Speedo has had an illustrious career. At the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, 13 of the 15 world records were broken by swimmers wearing their Fastskin swim suit. At the 2004 Olympics in Athens, more swimmers wore Speedo than all the other brands put together and in Beijing in 2008, 92% of all medals won in swimming events were by athletes in Speedos!
So, back to Tony Abbott………..is he doing Speedo a favour in wearing their brand very publicly or would they be happier if he ditched them?
I reckon good on him for standing up for an Aussie icon, in spite of media ridicule. He’s got the body to wear em. In any case they’re part of the uniform in his life saving club. Maybe journalists should stop taking cameras to the beach! If the media did it to a female politician there would be outrage.