Online campaign sees Olympic sponsors give up tax breaks

Major sponsors of the Olympics, such as McDonald’s and Visa will voluntarily miss out on tax breaks available to them during the Games, thanks in part to the efforts of an online campaign group

Fourteen corporations targeted by campaigning organisation 38 Degrees have all now said they won’t be using a tax break open to Olympic sponsors.

The pledges were submitted to 38 Degrees following an online petition created by the organisation, which drew hundreds of thousands of signatures from consumers.

The commitments made by the company means for example, that tax will now be paid on profits made from the sale of food and drinks to spectators in the Olympic Park in east London.

38 Degrees said: “They could see it was safer to back down on the tax break than to risk a PR disaster with the very people who buy their products…This win is more proof that when we work together, we get results.”

However, companies targeted by the petition insisted that they had always intended to waive the tax breaks. In a statement, Coca-Cola said: “Coca-Cola has never intended to, and will not be making, any corporate or income tax exemption claim with respect to any activity concerning our involvement with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.”