On the Agenda - Cancer fund slams FIFA sponsorship

In a nutshell The FIFA World Cup has been attacked for having 'unhealthy' sponsors. The World Cancer Research Fund said it was concerned about the potential impact of marketing by sponsors, which include McDonald's, Coca-Cola and Budweiser.

Sponsors: World Cup
Sponsors: World Cup

Why is the charity concerned?

The WCRF said it was concerned because evidence shows the advertising of unhealthy food and drinks, particularly on TV, is probably a cause of childhood obesity.

The charity has urged parents to counteract the effect on their children by promoting healthy eating.

What is the background?

FIFA president Sepp Blatter lent his support to Michelle Obama's anti-obesity campaign in March, saying in a FIFA press release that 'sport in general and football in particular can fight this curse'. The WCRF is calling on FIFA to agree not to consider companies that promote unhealthy products for future sponsorship.

PR strategy

The WCRF in-house comms team sent out a release to national media outlets last week. The story was also distributed to regional titles and broadcast media, with quotes from WCRF general manager Teresa Nightingale.

Media coverage

The story was picked up by BBC News online and it was also covered in regional media including the Manchester Evening News, Belfast Evening Chronicle and Yorkshire Post. WCRF head of comms Richard Evans said he was surprised there was not more interest in the national press.

16.8% of boys aged two to 15 were classed as obese in 2008*

15.2% of girls aged two to 15 were classed as obese in 2008*

*Source: the NHS Information Centre.

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