Chris Brook-Carter

The Big Snapple

By: Chris Brook-Carter - 12 September 2003 17:08

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So, on your next visit to New York, you'll no longer be able to buy those tacky tourist t-shirts inscribed with "I ♥ the Big Apple". Instead you'll get "I ♥ the Big Snapple". Because in a landmark deal, Snapple Beverage Company owner Cadbury Schweppes has agreed to pay US$166m for the brand to become the official drink of New York City.
No doubt there'll be enormous benefits to the City and its schools as the money fills holes in the budget deficit. However, something about all this sits uneasy with me. This is no anti-capitalist rant - sponsorship has an important part to play in brand building - but how far should we let the corporate world seep into our every day lives?
This is not just the sponsorship of a football match but of a city - a community of people and in particular its children.
Surely this deal is only the start. If there can be an official drink, there can be an official clothing line or car, food producer or perfume. And no doubt other cities too will be keen to learn quickly from the Big Snapple experience and get in on the action o.
There was a craze in the UK a year ago where students were selling the space on their foreheads to advertisers. I hope the Snapple deal is not the thin end of the wedge.
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