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SBD Global/July 9, 2012/Olympics

McDonald's Olympics Sponsorship Questioned By Rogge

IOC President Jacques Rogge said that top Olympics officials "questioned whether it was appropriate" to allow fast-food chain McDonald’s to continue sponsoring the Games "amid mounting concern about the global obesity crisis," according to Roger Blitz of the FINANCIAL TIMES. Rogge said that the growing financial demands of the Olympics were "making it harder for the movement to hold on to its long-cherished values, which include taking care of one’s health." McDonald's extended its 36-year backing of the Olympics in January by extending its sponsorship eight years. Rogge said deciding to renew McDonald's sponsorship deal "was not an easy decision." But Rogge said there had been a “question mark” over the sponsorship of the Olympics by McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, a sponsor of the Games since 1928 and also signed up until 2020. Rogge: “For those companies, we’ve said to them: ‘Listen, there is an issue in terms of the growing trend on obesity, what are you going to do about that?’” Rogge pointed to the introduction by McDonald’s of healthier menu options and Coca-Cola’s zero-calorie drinks "as evidence of the companies taking their public health responsibilities seriously" (FINANCIAL TIMES, 7/8).
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