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Dream for Darfur gives higher marks to Adidas, McDonald’s, Kodak for response to Darfur; poor marks to 16 other Olympic sponsors

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1 May 2008

Dream for Darfur - second Olympic Corporate Sponsor Darfur Report Card

Author: report by Dream for Darfur; additional materials compiled by Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

In April 2008, Dream for Darfur issued a..."report card" grading 19 Olympic corporate sponsors on the steps they had taken "to help bring security to war-torn Darfur", including asking companies "to call for indicted Sudanese war criminals to be banned from the Games, contact the Chinese government about the genocide, work with the IOC [Intl. Olympic Committee] and each other to craft a meaningful action or urge the UN to deploy the full protection force without further delay." Sixteen of the 19 companies graded received a "D" or "F". Of the 19, "Adidas, Kodak and McDonald’s alone urged the UN and international community to address the genocide, or took other actions" according to Dream for Darfur... Section II of the full report includes each company's response to the actions that Dream for Darfur urged.
[16 sponsors that received Ds or Fs:
Anheuser-Busch, Atos Origin, BHP Billiton, Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson, Lenovo, Manulife/John Hancock, Microsoft, Panasonic/Matsushita, Samsung, Staples, Swatch/Omega, Visa, Volkswagen]

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25 April 2008

Companies Return Criticism From Darfur Group

Author: Stephanie Clifford, New York Times

After taking criticism from activist groups over the last few months, some Olympic sponsors are starting to criticize right back. On Thursday,...Dream for Darfur issued a report card that roundly criticized most of the major Olympic sponsors... In response, some sponsors began criticizing the group’s approach. [responses by Adidas, Anheuser-Busch, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Visa]

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17 April 2008

We help Darfur but do not harm the Olympics

Author: Neville Isdell, chairman & CEO of Coca-Cola, in Financial Times

...[T]here have been calls on sponsors of the summer Olympic Games in Beijing to step up public pressure on China to help end the tragic humanitarian crisis in Darfur. One group has issued a “report card”, which claimed that Coca-Cola and other Olympic partners had been “silent” on Darfur. Their approach is flawed. It judges concern by one narrow measure – the degree to which one pushes a sovereign government in public – while ignoring what we and others are doing every day to help ease the suffering in Darfur... We have been actively engaged in Darfur for two years. We have been a proud Olympic partner for the past 80 years... We are neither a government nor the United Nations, but we can and must be a catalyst for change through actions that are appropriate for a business to take. To help in Darfur, we are focusing our resources where we believe they can make the greatest difference in saving lives and reducing suffering. Rather than make public statements, we have chosen a more direct and, in our view, more effective route to help address the staggering human suffering... Our approach encompasses: immediate relief to those on the ground; investments to address water, one of the conflict’s underlying causes; and efforts to bring local and international stakeholders together to develop long-term solutions.

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