Washington, D.C. – American Conservative Values ETF, a conservative-based investment fund, pointed to Coca-Cola’s sponsorship of the Beijing Olympics and complete dismissal of the plight of the Uyghur Muslims as a cautionary tale for companies looking to engage in political speech or sponsor similar events in the future.
The Chinese Communist government has for years now persecuted the Uyghurs, a minority group who have been rounded up and placed into so-called “reeducation” camps where they have been subjected to forced labor and mass sterilization. Some of their so-called offenses have include using a mobile phone or using a foreign country’s social media sites.
China, though, tried to put a “happy face” on its human rights record by having a Uyghur light the Olympic torch at the opening ceremony. Some in the audience and many around the world saw it for the transparent ploy that it was.
Even NBC anchor Mike Tirico could not ignore the elephant in the room and identified China’s human rights abuses.
“Coke no doubt thought that by sponsoring the Olympic Games that it would be helping to foster international goodwill and harmony. All of that became irrelevant when China was selected as the hosts. Anyone who read the news knows China is a bad actor that is committing atrocities against the Uyghurs, but in spite of that and the damage it might bring to their brand, Coke pushed forward anyway,” ACVF cofounders Bill Flaig and Tom Carter said in a joint statement.
“We founded our fund because we saw too many corporations engaging in political speech that did not benefit their bottom line and ultimately hurt their branding. You can apply the same basic principle here. Just as companies should carefully think things through before engaging in political actions and speech, so too should they seriously consider the implications of sponsoring events in countries like China. Maybe Coke’s leadership did really think the sponsorship would benefit their bottom line, but outside of their boardroom many of us have been left with a bad taste as Coke has continually ignored the plight of the Uyghurs along with China’s many, many other misdeeds.”
To schedule an interview with Bill Flaig or Tom Carter, please contact Will Hadden at [email protected] or call 703.739.5920