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Page last updated at 17:05 GMT, Monday, 20 October 2008 18:05 UK

Olympic chiefs back Cadbury link

By Matt Slater

London 2012 has signed a sponsorship deal with Cadbury
London 2012 is now linked with Cadbury, Coca-Cola and McDonald's

London 2012 bosses have defended the decision to sign up confectionery giant Cadbury as an Olympic sponsor.

The UK-based firm, the world's largest manufacturer of chocolate bars, has paid at least 20m for the right to brand products with the 2012 logo.

But the deal has already come in for fierce criticism from public health experts - criticism London 2012 chief executive Paul Deighton rejects.

"Cadbury is a great British company and a trusted brand," he said.

"They have a tradition of sports sponsorship. They were there in Sydney in 2000 and the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and 2006.

"They'll be a great partner. They are a world-class brand and a logical fit for us."

As well as the right to use Olympic branding, Cadbury will also be the sole supplier of confectionery and ice cream at all London 2012 venues, joining Coca-Cola and McDonald's as official suppliers.

Treats can be consumed intelligently and responsibly

Cadbury's Todd Stitzer
With cases of childhood obesity and diabetes running at alarming levels, this is a source of serious concern for health campaigners.

Deighton, however, said Cadbury was committed to marketing its products responsibly and emphasised the importance of getting British businesses to help pay for what should be "the greatest thing happening in our country in our lifetimes".

It was point Cadbury chief executive Todd Stitzer expanded on enthusiastically.

"Life is full of interesting indulgences," he said. "If people don't learn how to balance the consumption of treats and physical activity, they miss the essence of life.

"Treats can be consumed intelligently and responsibly in the balance of a healthy lifestyle."

He added the firm would work closely with London 2012 organisers and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to stress the need for exercise and drew attention to the "be treatwise" messages printed on their products in the UK.

Stitzer also promised Cadbury would not be handing out chocolates to children for free at the Games and said the company would not attempt to raise overall consumption of confectionery products in Britain.

The addition of Cadbury as a "tier two" partner means London 2012 bosses are on track to meet their domestic sponsorship target of 700-600m. The current total is 430m - a sum far in advance of what any previous Olympic organisers have managed by this stage.

BBC London's Adrian Warner
Seven "tier one" sponsors have been signed up - Adidas, BP, British Airways, BT, EDF Energy, Lloyds TSB and Nortel - for at least 40m each and Deighton said "five or six" more second-tier sponsors will join Cadbury and Deloitte.

The third-tier partners - companies providing goods or services worth at least 10m - will be added from 2009.

These sponsorship deals comprise less than a third of the total budget for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (Locog), with the remainder coming from the IOC's global television contracts and ticket and merchandising sales.

Deighton was bullish on Locog's ability to raise funds despite the gloomy economic picture.

This confidence is in contrast with the mood at the Olympic Development Agency, the body responsible for building the Games' infrastructure and venues.

Serious headaches remain there about the likelihood of finding private money to help construct key venues like the Olympic Village and media centre.

see also
Cadbury becomes Olympic sponsor
20 Oct 08 |  London
BP to sponsor London 2012 Games
03 Jul 08 |  London
BA to sponsor London 2012 Games
05 Feb 08 |  London
Acer signs 2012 sponsorship deal
06 Dec 07 |  Business
London unveils first 2012 sponsor
14 Mar 07 |  Olympics 2012

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