SBD/July 26, 2012/Olympics

Obesity Campaign Questions Role Of McDonald's, Coke, Cadbury As Olympic Sponsors

Health campaigners say sponsors like McDonald's do not promote healthy living
Health campaigners are urging the IOC to “ban junk food and fizzy drink brands from future sporting sponsorship deals in a critical new report which says the committee has squandered the chance to create a positive health legacy from the London 2012 Games,” according to Rebecca Smithers of the GUARDIAN. The Obesity Games report, published by The Childrens' Food Campaign, found that corporate sponsorship “accounts for less than 10% of the total funding for the London 2012 Games, while fast food sponsors contribute only about 2% of the IOC income.” The report claims that major sponsors Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Cadbury are “given an unrivalled platform to promote their unhealthy brands and products.” The findings will “trigger fresh criticism of the stranglehold on food and drink at the Games held by sponsors” (GUARDIAN, 7/26). The report stated that the sponsors “ill-served taxpayers who are funding the majority of the [US$2.2B] budget and all the bill for increased costs of obesity on the health service.” Childrens' Food Campaign Coordinator Malcolm Clark said the IOC "could choose to cut out the top-tier category of food and soft drink partners entirely, and lose little more" than 2% of its total income (London INDEPENDENT, 7/26).

SOCIAL MEDIA TRACKER: Social Agility co-Founder Tony Burgess-Webb said that the company “uses more than 50 metrics to calculate the scores posted on its continuously updating London 2012 Social Media Scoreboard.” In Toronto, Morgan Campbell notes the company found that Coca-Cola, British Airways and adidas “have surged to the top of the social media medal table.” Companies gain points “for being active on platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and for creating web pages specifically for their Olympic campaigns.” By yesterday afternoon Coca-Cola’s “score of 298 placed it atop the ‘Top Performers’ scale,” with employment agency Adecco “at the bottom” with a score of 15 (TORONTO STAR, 7/26).

CYBER SECURITY: In L.A., Ryan Faughnder notes Olympic security officials are “bracing for an onslaught of cyber assaults that could easily surpass the 12 million attacks a day, or 500,000 an hour, that were logged" during the ’08 Beijing Games. More than 3,500 IT engineers and technicians "have been assigned to monitor the Games' computer systems and networks.” IOC TOP sponsor Atos is “monitoring more than 11,000 computers and servers” from a deployment center (L.A. TIMES, 7/26).

SHIPPING SAMPLES: The GUARDIAN’s Neate & Gibson note there is a process to ensure Olympic athletes’ drug testing samples “are not tampered with during” the Games. UPS, which won the delivery rights to the Games, indicated that it had “the delivery of urine and blood samples ‘locked down to a very few’ highly trained drivers.” UPS has developed “its own information and communications technology to ensure that managers are alerted immediately if anything goes amiss in the delivery of the samples to the laboratory” (GUARDIAN, 7/26).

GET YOUR TOYS HERE! The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Alice Speri noted with 10,000 official items for sale, the London Games "offer the largest variety of Olympics paraphernalia ever.” LOCOG organizers hope to sell more than $1.55B of merchandise “from toys to egg cups.” Retail analysts “hate to dash any Olympic dreams, but they have their doubts.” Kantar Retail Insights Dir Bryan Roberts: "I'd be amazed if they got anywhere near that." Verdict Research estimates that the Games “will generate a total of [US$157M] in Olympics-related sales this quarter -- including official and unofficial products, as well as food.” LOCOG has said that merchandise sales of US$1.6B would result in US$125M “in profits and help balance its books” (WSJ.com, 7/25).

NOTES: Russian mobile phone operator MegaFon has selected GMR Marketing to assist with activations at the London Games. As the official mobile partner of the '14 Sochi Games, the company will have a presence at Russia Park in Perks Field and Sochi Park in Kensington Gardens (GMR)....The AP’s Rishi Lekhi reports “hundreds of survivors of the deadly 1984 Bhopal gas leak held a ‘Special Olympics’ on Thursday with children suffering birth defects in an effort to shame" LOCOG sponsor Dow Chemical (AP, 7/26).
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