Snapple's deal with the city of New York has been approved by a review commission. The contract has faced severe criticism since it was announced in September.

The Franchise and Concession Review Committee voted 4-2 in favour of the deal yesterday. Mayoral appointees cast the four pro-votes, while William Thompson, a vocal opponent of the deal, and the borough presidents, who collectively had one vote, made up the con-party.

The Cadbury Schweppes-owned Snapple brand secured the US$166m deal with the city earlier this year to become its official sponsor. The deal grants the brand exclusive rights to sell its beverages to 1,200 schools and other public buildings and to advertise on public transport and rubbish bins.

Thompson is allegedly conducting an audit of the controversial agreement and could still refuse to register the contract when it is formally presented to him.