August 1, 2012
NEW YORK, Jul 21 2012 (IPS) – As the 2012 London Olympics gears up to open on Jul. 27, criticism of the longstanding partnership between the Games and sponsor McDonald’s has stolen a small portion of the limelight.
It’s not only civil society activists protesting the fast food giant this year, but local politicians.
“London won the right to host the 2012 Games with the promise to deliver a legacy of more active, healthier children across the world,” the Green Party’s Jenny Jones, who recently proposed a motion to exclude McDonald’s, Coca-Coca-Cola and others from the Games, told the 25-member Labour-dominated London Assembly.
”Yet the same International Olympic Committee that awarded the games to London persists in maintaining sponsorship deals with the purveyors of high-calorie junk that contributes to the threat of an obesity epidemic.”
The McDonald’s marketing strategy means that investment in sporting education goes hand in hand with the sale of low-priced, high-calorie fast food. In the UK, the company is offering up to 117,000 dollars to local football clubs.
“McDonald’s anticipated the criticism around its junk food 30 to 40 years ago. It spent those decades building a structure and good will to deflect criticism about the health impact of its products,” Sara Deon of Corporate Accountability International told IPS, highlighting McDonald’s sponsorship of the Games as a clear example of this.
McDonald’s has been an official sponsor of the Olympics since 1976. The company recently had its contract extended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to 2020. (Read Full Article)