BOSTON–McDonald’s and the International Olympics Committee (IOC) are ending their long-running sponsorship deal three years early.
While McDonald’s and the IOC have artfully avoided any real explanation for the move, the partnership has been met with broad and sustained resistance at each successive Olympics game since 2012, begging the question: has McDonald’s finally buckled in response to public pressure, or has the IOC recognized McDonald’s for the liability that it is?
McDonald’s has been subject to mounting opposition for its aggressive and exploitative marketing to children, whether it’s in schools, hospitals, or indeed sports organizations. Its marketing practices are not only harmful, but have also become a reputational and business liability for the world’s leading junk food brand.
See below for a statement from Sriram Madhusoodanan, deputy campaign director of Corporate Accountability’s food campaign:
“This is a massive victory for public health worldwide. For far too long, the fast food giant has profited richly from its sponsorship of the Olympics, in spite of the blatant contradiction between the junk food that McDonald’s peddles and the healthy lifestyle — including diet — that Olympic athletes must adhere to. While certainly a win for public health, this move is long overdue. Other sports associations, such as FIFA and the NFL, would do well to follow suit and protect the health of millions of children who look up to and idolize their athletes by cutting ties with McDonald’s for good.”