Tue, 30 May 2023

Washington [US], January 25 (ANI): Sponsors and advertisers of Beijing Winter Olympics 2022 are keeping a low profile over human rights abuses in Xinjiang as firms face risks of missing global marketing opportunities in China, according to a media report.

US officials, lawmakers from other Western countries and human rights activists have ramped up criticism against China's treatment of mostly Muslim minorities in Xinjiang amounts to a form of genocide, reported New York Post.

Visa, for instance, has stayed quiet this time during the Beijing Winter Olympics 2022. But during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Visa had a marketing blitz and 100-day countdown on Twitter to the torch lighting.

The longtime Olympic sponsor, Visa, this time has not issued any statement or not tweeted any content related to the government.

Coke brand is following a different path to avoid controversy as it is running an Olympic advertising campaign this year only in China. But the company has not explained the reason behind it.

Global marketing experts have said that sponsors are attempting to escape the controversy over the human rights abuses in China and the US announcement of a diplomatic boycott of games.

Rick Burton, who was a chief marketing officer for the US Olympic Committee at the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, told the Wall Street Journal, "Sponsors are trying to weather the storm."Burton also said that the companies have inked massive sponsorship deals and risk missing global marketing opportunities for their businesses in China.

This year, many big sponsors are trying to toe the line as the Games approach.

According to New York Post, ProcterGamble, home of brands like Gillette, Olay, Pampers and Tide, has been tight-lipped on its views in the weeks following the Biden administration's decision to mount a diplomatic boycott of the Games.

PG's messaging focuses on the athletes and it leaves marketing decisions around China and the Olympics up to individual market leaders, said the company's finance chief Andre Schulten in an interview with the Journal.

Schulten also said that every brand has its own context and there is really no global approach. "It's done tactically and individually by market, the focus in China is on the customer."It came after companies like Walmart, Intel, Adidas and HM that have spoken out about human rights concerns have faced the wrath of China recently. (ANI)

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