Dow, Olympic Stadium Wrap & The Bhopal Disaster

Another interesting sponsor adversity response story to watch unfold in coming months is that of London 2012 partner Dow Chemicals.


How the US chemical giant’s executives and marketers respond to ongoing criticism connected to the Bhopal chemical disaster could become a test case for adversity activation.


A group of activists – including Indian athletes and regional governments as well as some British politicians – want the Olympic organisers to cut Dow from its sponsorship programme as they argue claim that Dow has yet to adequately address compensation issues relating to the 1984 Bhopal disaster which was caused by Union Carbide – a company that Dow Chemical took over in 2001.


Thus far Dow’s standout activation platform its £7m sponsorship of the Olympic Stadium wrap. Interestingly, Dow has decided not to exercise its rights to include its logo advertising on stadium wrap triangular banners. Although the company insist that this decision was taken before the protests arose and was actually because so few people would actually see the ads in the short time they were allowed.


Dow vice president of Olympic operations George Hamilton said: “We are not deterred by the noise here in London about the legal issue of Bhopal and Union Carbide because we are not connected with it. We didn’t take a decision to remove the logo because we are not associated with Bhopal, nor was it to placate a group of protesters.”


Dow has also recently stated that it had become an Olympic sponsor to access more than £97bn in new infrastructure spending at future Olympic Games generating incremental sales of £646m over 10 years, as well as using it as a platform to highlight the company’s involvement in sustainable products.


It seems unlikely that the story will end with that statement.







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