Coca-Cola Will Not Sponsor Live 8
by Julia Pearlman
Brand Republic
16 June 2005

LONDON - Coca-Cola will not be sponsoring Live 8, following reports that the soft drinks giant was in talks with the event's organisers.

Coca-Cola said it has been aware of recent speculation but the brand would not be sponsoring the global music event.

"We are sure it will be a great event that will capture the public's imagination in much the same way Live Aid did 20 years ago, and we hope it's a fantastic success," a spokesperson said.

Reports that the soft drinks giant was going to sponsor the event led to criticism of Live 8 organisers from campaigning and justice groups, who see Coca-Cola's support as being incompatitible with the poverty-beating goals of Live 8.

One group, The India Resource Centre, has accused Coca-Cola of creating severe water shortages and pollution in India and accused the firm of being "poverty-creating" company. It argued that having Coca-Cola involved was completely "antithetical to the goals of Live 8".

The Coca-Cola Company is the target of intense campaigns by community groups in India and internationally, including complaints over Coca-Cola's plans for a bottling plant in Gangaikondan, Tamil Nadu.

Amit Srivastava, director of The India Resource Centre, said: "It is absurd to think that a poverty-creating company can sponsor a poverty-alleviating endeavour such as Live 8."

Live 8, which is being run by Bob Geldof, says it plans to unveil a number of other corporate partners.

Other brands involved in the event include Virgin Trains, O2, which has run the ticket text lottery, and AOL, which will broadcast all five concerts on the internet.

The Live 8 concerts coincide with the G8 leaders' meeting in Edinburgh, where they are being called upon to increase third world aid.

Concerts are being staged in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome and Philadelphia, featuring artists including Ms Dynamite, Muse, Sir Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, Razorlight, REM and Robbie Williams.

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