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Logo announcement looms

Date Published: 03/02/2010

The day is nearly upon us. The day we will discover the one logo to rule them all.

If you’ll excuse the slightly nerdy Lord of the Rings reference, I am, of course, referring to the EU organic logo. The results of the competition held to choose this hotly anticipated item of packaging decoration are due out this week.

That’s not to say we will actually find out this week which of the three shortlisted designs have won, because this is the EU we’re dealing with. But they said we’d find out this week, so we’re cranking up the pressure…

These were the choices for the compulsory EU organic logo
These were the choices for the compulsory EU organic logo

You may recall that the three designs caused something of a debate around Europe as to whether the method of inviting and choosing them was entirely suitable and whether the options selected by the judges for the final vote were really the best they could find.

We had our own concerns as it appeared that the voting website allowed you to cast multiple votes. The normal situation with even the most trivial of online polls is generally to be told “No you naughty little cheat, you can’t vote again” when you attempt to show more support than is fair for one particular option.

In its most basic form this is often enforced by the use of a ‘cookie’ (a little bit of text dropped into a special folder on your computer that tells the website you have already voted). Alternatively it is done by recording the unique Internet Protocol (IP) address of your computer when you vote. Sometimes both, plus other safeguards.

We couldn’t see any such protection on this vote and were able to force sequential numbers for the amount of votes cast out of the page that was loaded once a vote had been made. This worried us. We couldn’t find any relevant cookies on our machines and there was no “Don’t be naughty” message.

So the question was, did whoever put the site together simply fail to create a page that said your latest vote didn’t count because you’d already voted. Or did they just not bother to protect the vote…

Obviously someone must have the answer to this, so we emailed the organisers of the competition at the EU asking the questions posed above and seeking reassurance.

The response was deafening in its silence.

So, no doubt by now, with the poll closed, we have winner. Let’s hope whichever logo it was, the result wasn’t unduly influenced by someone who figured out they could game the vote. And no, we didn’t.

Hopefully we’re utterly wrong about this and doing the organisers of the competition a great disservice. If so though, it would have been nice for them to tell us that.

We’ll let you know which logo was picked as soon as we do!