Apr 19, 2012 at 12:16 PM
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New Website Asks Fans To Vote On 'Worst Olympic Sponsors'

There are a lot of Olympic sponsors doing great things for the community and it's easy to lose sight of that in the midst of all the protests. Nevertheless, there is at least one gold medal that Olympic sponsors would rather not win. Amid growing protests around the business dealings of several high profile Olympic sponsors, a coalition of environmental and human rights groups have unveiled a new website aimed at letting the public reward what it calls are the ‘worst’ Olympic sponsors. The website, Greenwash Gold 2012, lets visitors decide who gets a 'gold medal' for worst sponsor among The Dow Chemical Company, BP and Rio Tinto and others. Each profile on the site includes an animated short film that encourage viewers to vote online for the worst corporate sponsor of the Olympics. The organizers say they will then be awarding the Greenwash Gold Medal during the games in July based on the results of the public voting.

Adding salt to the wound, the website is being spearheaded by Meredith Alexander, who resigned from the Commission for Sustainable London 2012 over the acceptance of Dow's Olympic sponsorship.

“The Olympics are meant to be about so much more than how fast Usain Bolt can run or how many medals Britain's finest athletes score," Alexander says. "The modern Olympics was founded here in the UK to promote peace and understanding between the peoples of the world. The Olympic values are all about celebrating our common humanity."

While such frequent and high profile protests are certainly a thorn in the sides of marketers and organizers, Richard Gillis of unofficialpartner.co.uk, suggests that the fact that these protests are allowed to take place is a good sign when compared to other host countries.

"Whether you think Meredith Alexander is a hero or a showboating opportunist, her protest and the many others to come, are a sign of Britain’s confidence, not weakness," Gillis writes. Such a thing didn’t happen in Beijing. It won’t happen in Sochi. This, I would suggest, is a good sign."