News article

4 August 2016

FDF response to Children's Food Campaign comments on sports sponsorship

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It has come to our attention that the Children's Food Campaign/Sustain is to issue a press release attacking FDF Director General Ian Wright's recent comments in Campaign magazine on the role brands play in supporting sports events.

Ian – along with others - was asked a specific question about whether it was appropriate for Coca-Cola and McDonalds to be Olympic sponsors. He replied:

"Coca-Cola and McDonald's are among the world's most responsible companies. Being involved in the Olympic family and sharing its values allows both sides to benefit from the special value of such relationships. You only have to look at Johnnie Walker's sponsorship of the McLaren Formula One team to see that it has not only been very successful but has also advanced the cause of responsible drinking. You also have to remember that the source of the controversy is invariably Western and metropolitan. Asian and Latin American countries have no problem with companies that behave responsibly."

We have, of course, received no requests for an apology from any Embassy and Ian stands by his comments.

Ian adds:

“The recent, ground-breaking McKinsey report ranked the most effective interventions to tackle obesity worldwide – portion control and reformulation of foods came out top, with restrictions on sports sponsorship nowhere on the list.

“At a time when public health budgets are shrinking, restricting sports sponsorship from food and drink companies – whether of grass roots sport or international competitions - would result in less physical activity, not more.”

More Information

Contact Ted Woodward, Corporate Affairs Division, at: ted.woodward@fdf.org.uk, or +44 (0) 20 7420 7140.

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