Thursday, August 21, 2008

Channel Surfing: Olympic Sponsorships In Question

A recent study called "The Commercial Games" conducted by Commercial Alert and Multinational Monitor (two companies that keep tabs on big corporations) has argued that the International Olympic Committee should drop sponsors whose products include fast food, soda, and alcohol. The groups think that these products do not jive with the Olympics' overall message of celebrating healthy living.

Obviously the main companies under attack are Coca Cola, McDonald's, and Anheuser Busch. Although these companies wouldn't go out of business without Olympic sponsorships, these global brands would be at a significant disadvantage in terms of missing an opportunity to reach a global audience.

Are these types of endorsements really harmfully associated with the Olympic games? Sure, plenty of kids tune in and are exposed to these ads, but the companies in question are so voluminous that children will see their advertising anyway. Even if gold medalists aren't scarfing down Big Mac's and washing them down with Coke, the majority of people who watch the games are.

Yes, the Olympics display the best in physical fitness and health, but the sponsorships being targeted by this study are more than what they produce for consumers. These companies are global brands that help to improve the quality of life and they all have foundations and programs established to better society using their wide ranges of awareness.