Sponsoring the Olympics Is Bad for Business

Author: Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director, Human Rights Watch, in Huffington Post, Published on: 5 August 2008

[T]he main Olympic sponsors and suppliers all…profess great interest in corporate social responsibility and human rights. But without exception, they are all putting their considerable public relations and lobbying muscle towards ducking any social responsibility for sponsoring the Games in [China]…[T]he TOP sponsors are Atos Origin, Coca-Cola, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Kodak, Lenovo, McDonald's, Omega (Swatch Group), Panasonic (Matsushita), Samsung, and Visa…Olympic sponsors have not only an opportunity but a duty to speak out about human rights abuses in China…Even if these companies care more about their own interests, rather than principles, they still have plenty of reasons to seize this opportunity to make China a more attractive place to do business.

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Related companies: Atos (formerly Atos Origin) Coca-Cola Eastman Kodak General Electric Johnson & Johnson Lenovo Matsushita (now Panasonic) McDonald's Omega Watches (part of Swatch) Panasonic Samsung Swatch Visa Inc.