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SBD Global/July 11, 2012/Olympics

IOC Backs McDonald's, Coca-Cola Sponsorships; Rogge 'Clarifies' Comments

The IOC issued a "public backing" of TOP sponsors McDonald's and Coca-Cola Tuesday, a day after IOC President Jacques Rogge "was quoted as saying there was a ‘question mark’ over their sponsorship due to obesity concerns,” according to Karolos Grohmann of REUTERS. Rogge in a statement said, "I would like to clarify comments attributed to me in several media reports regarding Coca-Cola's and McDonald's Olympic sponsorship. The IOC hugely values the long-term sponsorship and support of both McDonald's and Coca-Cola. Through the years we have personally witnessed the positive impact that they make as TOP sponsors." Rogge Monday had been quoted in the British press saying the "growing trend on obesity" drew into question the sponsorships. However, he said Tuesday that the IOC was “proud to be associated with them” (REUTERS, 7/10). A FINANCIAL TIMES’ editorial states banning McDonald’s and Coca-Cola from Olympic sponsorship "is not the answer.” While it is “not the IOC’s responsibility to solve the problem of global obesity, it could do more to contribute to the battle of the bulge.” It should “start by being far more demanding of its sponsors in all sectors.” The committee should “set higher hurdles for sponsors to demonstrate concrete commitment to behaviour underpinning Olympic values.” This could apply “as much to Rio Tinto on the environment as Coca-Cola on healthier lifestyles.” Real people and real projects “should be the foundation of any sponsorship bid” (FINANCIAL TIMES, 7/10).
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