Coca-Cola Shuns Olympic Boycott, Says Sponsorship Has “Positive Impact”

coca-cola-2012-london-olympics-0Surely Coca-Cola has been keeping an eye on the proposed boycott of companies supporting the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi, but it took a sizable protest in Times Square yesterday to finally make them respond.

The demonstration was organized by Queer Nation, a New York nonprofit calling for the company to withdraw its sponsorship of the Sochi Olympics, and to “publish and publicize its LGBT employment policies” throughout their Russian-owned and operated websites and facilities.

Fat chance, says Coke, who released a statement shortly after claiming that “a more positive impact can be made through continued involvement, rather than by sitting on the sidelines.” Furthermore, the company is “engaging with the IOC on this important matter.” Is Coke aware that the IOC has zero interest in this matter and is working hard to sweep all of this under a giant, homophobic rug?

More from that release, which inadvertently reminds folks that Coca-Cola also sponsored the 1936 Olympics in Hitler’s Germany:

“As one of the world’s most inclusive brands, we value and celebrate diversity.  We have long been a strong supporter of the LGBT community and have advocated for inclusion and diversity through both our policies and practices. We do not condone human rights abuses, intolerance or discrimination of any kind anywhere in the world.

As an Olympic sponsor since 1928, we believe the Olympic Games are a force for good that unite people through a common interest in sports, and we have seen firsthand the positive impact and long-lasting legacy they leave on every community that has been a host.

Our actions and policies demonstrating our support for the LGBT community include the following:” read them here!

As expected, gays are not impressed. Queer Nation released another statement today, essentially reiterating the demands they made the first time.

For more on Olympic sponsors and their responses to human rights, you can check out this awesome mass interview at Buzzfeed.

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  • Ottoman

    I don’t generally buy coke products, but I cancelled my Visa credit card yesterday and told them it was because of their sponsorship of the Olympics in Russia.

  • Chris

    Drink Pepsi

  • Rfuller85

    “Positive Impact”. Probably referring to their bottom line.

  • MikeE

    Chugging down on a huge glass of diet Pepsi as I read this.

  • Robert

    I disdain CocaCola for the simple fact that a bottle of Coke is cheaper than a bottle of Dasani in third world nations. In a nation without fresh water, they price gouge on fresh water over liquid crap.

    Why support a company that elevates prices of a requirement of life in third world countries when said company could take a slight hit and provide clean water to people who, without it, have no access to any clean water source?

  • Larkin

    I support the concept of not boycotting them. Boycotts are largely ineffective. It’s better to be there and make a statement.

    I’d love to see coke release a ‘rainbow’ can for the olympics. I know they won’t do it, but it’d be awesome if they did. Hell, it doesn’t even have to be a full rainbow can, but include a small rainbow on the can.

    Again, I know it will never happen, but this should happen, much like athletes wearing rainbow pin.

    FUCK THE IOC who threatens to revoked their medals for being pro-gay.

  • MK Ultra

    The boycotts seem to have some success as Russia’s PR has been working overtime to convince the West that they don’t. (Why work so hard to convince people they don’t, if they do in fact don’t)
    Coke has nothing to lose by distributing a Pro-gay commercial or a pro-gay Cola can.
    Greedy Russia will NOT refuse their money. They definitely won’t attack such a large corporation that has interests in Russia, and Russians are just as addicted to Cola as Americans are.
    So while I don’t blame them for looking after their financial interests, they, as well as many other powerful corporations in America, really are in the position to make a statement.
    They don’t have to boycott, but they can send a powerful message to the world that many of us regular citizens simply cannot.

  • Shane

    a positive impact for who? the share holders? this is going to be a pr nightmare, the ad execs aren’t going to be happy. supporting a country that is taking away human rights is not a good thing.

    coca-cola might as well get a cgi version of hitler to run there next ad campaign.

  • Cam

    Because of all the negative Press and Boycott talk against Russia Armenia DID NOT implement similar anti-gay laws that it was going to put in place.

    As for Coke, fine, I’ll Drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper, no loss there if they are going to support those bigots.

  • marc sfe

    Here is a list of all the companies owned by Coca Cola, that I can find, in the United States.

    Aquapure, Bacardi mixers, Barq’s, Barrilltos, Dannon, Dasani, Evian, Fanta, Five Alive, Fresca, Fruitopia, Galceau waters, McCafe, Minute Maid, Nestea, Odwalla, Pibb, Powerade, Red Flash, Simply Orange, Sprite, Tab. May be more, but that’s what I found.

  • greybat

    I’ll keep drinking Hansens, thanks. Corn syrup is poison.

  • Shadeaux

    Team Dr Pepper

  • MikeE

    @Shadeaux: @Cam: You know that Dr. Pepper is a Coca Cola company, right?

  • jwrappaport

    More shameless opportunism by a major corporation. Who’d have thought?! This is exactly what happens when we shield private entities from any kind of meaningful accountability and give them the rights of natural people – private tyranny that is unaccountable to the people, let alone the very people who labor in the service of the corporation (save the corporate elite, of course).

    In any event, I prefer Slurm Classic.

  • Cam


    LOL! I did not…..ok, just Pepsi. Thank you!!

  • dunivant66

    @Chris: Pepsi is too sweet and not enough carbonation. It essentially tastes like shit. I prefer Faygo cola if it is available in your area.

  • Chris

    I find it awfully funny when people come over and say they are having a Pepsi instead. You are aware of Pepsico’s sponsorship of anti gay groups in Uganda? Think on!

  • Chris

    @marc sfe: And of course you boycott Pepsi due to the sponsoring of anti gay groups in Uganda?!

Comments are closed.