Child Obesity Activists Challenge Cadbury's Olympics Sponsorship

22 October 2008

LONDON: UK-headquartered confectionery colossus Cadbury, confirmed this week as a 'tier two' sponsor of the London 2012 Olympics, came under fire from children's health campaigners who question the appropriateness of its £20 million-plus ($34.27m; €25.74m) sponsorship.

Not only does the deal offer the chocolatier important exclusive category-marketing rights associated with the Olympic juggernaut, it also confers on Cadbury a monopoly on chocolate and ice cream sales within all Olympic venues.

London 2012 chief, Paul Deighton was well prepared for the predictable volley of criticism: "Previous games have had chocolate and confectionery suppliers, and like most sporting events confectionery is available to buy at Olympic games.

"[Cadbury] became a 'tier-two' deal meaning that [it] is helping to underwrite the staging of the world's biggest sporting events in this country in 2012."

'Tier-one' partners include such supporters of health and fitness as McDonald's, Coca-Cola and Samsung, all of which have purchased global exploitation rights.

Meantime, hard-headed Cadbury ceo Todd Stitzer was probity personified, promising that Cadbury would not introduce any voucher collection schemes or chocolate freebies as part of its London 2012 sponsorship.

Instead, it will focus on youth sport and volunteer community engagement, touting messages based on how a Cadbury-style 'treat' is part of an overall responsible diet.

"It is entirely appropriate that the biggest sports event that Britain has seen is supplied with British confectionery," said a proudly patriotic company spokesman. "It would be odd … to find only Cadbury chocolate from foreign companies at the venue."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff