One of the biggest sponsors of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics is Coca-Cola, not because they have any particular affinity for Sochi, but rather because they’ve been the Olympics’ longest continuous sponsor. Think of it as a loveless corporate marriage that neither party is willing to pull the plug on.
Thankfully, Coca-Cola executives are reportedly discussing how to address Russia’s anti-gay policies, and pro-LGBT organization All Out is circulating a petition to put pressure on Coke to denounce Putin’s gay propaganda law.
[Image via Coca-colacompany.com]
According to the statement on the petition’s Sum of Us page, “So far, Coke has remained silent on Russia’s LGBT crackdown — that’s why we’re joining with All Out to show Coke how many people want the company to speak out against this law. If we succeed, we can set off an earthshaking domino effect that pushes other international sponsors to follow."
As the petition points out, going after Sochi’s sponsors would hit Russia in one of its most vulnerable areas: trade. Global diplomacy relies pretty heavily on countries buying and selling resources from one another, and getting Coca-Cola to distance itself from Sochi would put a nice financial dent in the city and send a clear message on Putin’s policies. That, and let’s face it, it’s not like signing an online petition is any skin off one’s ass.