News Analysis: No Room for Politics

Marketing, February 27, 2008 | Go to article overview

News Analysis: No Room for Politics


Beijing 2008 is under fire over China's human rights record, but do its sponsors deserve to be vilified, asks Ed Kemp.

Steven Spielberg's withdrawal on moral grounds as artistic director for the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics may have angered Chinese authorities, but the state's iron grip on national media should ensure that most of its 1.3bn inhabitants don't find out.

However, the film director's high-profile decision and the adoption of the moniker 'genocide Olympics', by actress Mia Farrow, will have left the event's global sponsors, including Coca-Cola and Samsung, wondering whether their brands will end up being associated with the Games for the wrong reasons.

This debate will come to the fore in April when 'free Tibet' protests take place in London as the Olympic Torch Relay passes through the city The campaigning groups have set themselves the target of shaming the Games and, by implication, its sponsors.

The Olympic Games and politics have always been inseparable. The event's history is littered with examples; US President Jimmy Carter called for a boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics and four years later the USSR along with 13 Eastern Bloc countries and Cuba, withdrew from the LA Games, to name but two.

So far, sponsors have sat tight and concentrated on the positive attributes of an association with Beijing 2008. Bob Heussner, senior vice-president and head of Games marketing at Octagon Marketing, does not believe brands should set a precedent by dropping out. 'Realistically, sponsors can have very little influence on a country's foreign policy. Especially when it is that of one of the world's biggest countries,' he says.

Sensitive issues

Earlier this month, the British Olympic Association (BOA) came under fire for asking its athletes to sign contracts prohibiting them from protesting at the Beijing Games. Amid all the controversy, a brief but aggressive media campaign in papers including The Independent called for brands to follow Spielberg's example.

'The fact that PR agencies are already hard at work (justifying brands' tie-ups) is a sign of the sensitivity that brands recognise surrounds politics,' says Tom Silk, managing director of Velocity Sports & Entertainment. 'In the short term, I would expect brands to keep well below the parapet, as there is no upside to being caught in the political crossfire. In the longer term, once the initial furore has died down, I would expect global sponsors to focus their Olympic marketing on their association with local athletes and teams, above their association with the Beijing Games, specifically.'

With the exception of Johnson & Johnson, which runs its Olympics sponsorship on a games-by-games basis, the IOC's global backers typically sign up for multiple Games, often without knowing where the events will be held. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

News Analysis: No Room for Politics
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.