Blog: Coke stumbles at first Olympic hurdle
Olly Wehring | 22 April 2008
The recent furore over the Olympic torch relay has been noticeable for many, many reasons. Not least of all, is the reticence of the big sponsors to either ally themselves too closely to the Chinese authorities or, for that matter, to the protestors.
The silence of companies like Coca-Cola, it seems, has been deafening.
Take a read, then, of the following comments, which appeared in an opinion piece in The Atlanta Journal, the newspaper in Coca-Cola Co.’s home town, earlier this week.
“By aligning itself with China for an estimated US$75m to $90m, it (Coca-Cola) also aligned itself with China's poor record at home and abroad.
”Coke's been making the argument that it's one thing to sponsor the Olympics - a "force for good" it says - and another to condone the actions of the host country. "It would be an inappropriate role for sponsors to comment on the political situation of individual nations," it says in a recent statement. Coke's attitude is comparable to how some social workers say to deal with a child who's acting out: love the child and ignore the bad behavior.
”That means loving China, even though it is sending weapons to war-torn Darfur, where tens (if not hundreds) of thousands have died in what's generally considered genocide. That means loving China despite its censorship of the media and the Internet. That means ignoring the religious and ethnic oppression perpetrated by Chinese leaders.
”There's only one problem with Coke's reasoning here: China is not a child. Treating it as a naive country that doesn't know better is patronizing at best, and downright insulting at worst.
“Coca-Cola has too much leverage to stay neutral or feign ignorance about what happens. Yet that's exactly what's going on: Coke's desire to avoid controversy is trumping its sense of corporate responsibility.”
For those people looking to the Red Planet as shining utopia away from all things earth, look away now....
Bacardi's 42 Below vodka brand has found a novel way to use the lemons left over from cocktail-making: Turn them into liquid soap....
Philadelphia’s soda tax came into force on Sunday, and is reportedly causing a stir in the city's check-out aisles....
Earlier this month, I was most-kindly invited by Accolade Wines to visit the Royal Albert Hall in London. The reason? They wanted to see a tennis great in action, and then give them a guided tour thro...
- Most Valuable Spirits Brands in 2017 - The facts
- Most Valuable Beer Brands in 2017 - The facts
- Diageo Africa president O'Keeffe on beer & spirits
- Travel Retail needs a disruptor - Comment
- What the future looks like for Australian wine
- Diageo ready to lock horns with AB InBev in Africa
- Heineken sees Tesco pull SKUs in UK
- Coca-Cola Co announces senior executive shake-up
- Fever-Tree eyes bumper NPD, pack formats for 2017
- Heineken mulls M&A with $1.75bn notes issue
- Central and East Europe Report Package
- Battle of the Generations - The fight for iGen, Millennial, Gen X and Baby Boomer consumers
- Global vodka insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global Scotch insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends
- Global liqueurs insights - market forecasts, product innovation and consumer trends research