When I recently read that superstar Beyoncé, a role model to millions, especially her legions of young fans, signed a 50 million dollar deal with Pepsi, I was compelled to speak up. A lifestyle brand! Seriously? Do celebrities have a moral responsibility to talk their talk and walk their walk? I believe they do.
The Calgary Board of Education has recently opened the door to the naming of classrooms to corporate sponsorship. Naming of classrooms or programs leads to some very fundamental questions about public education and has many drawbacks. One of which is if you allow Coca Cola a five year deal on a school gym, why not another school sponsored by Pepsi? If they can sponsor a high school gym, how about a junior high? A middle school? An elementary?
Sales of Greek-style yogurt in the U.S. have jumped 2,500 per cent in the last five years, with annual sales this year predicted to reach $1.5 billion, an increase making it one of the "hottest growing food products" of all time. And Pepsi's jumping on the train. Pepsi's strategy is to launch "fun" Greek yogurt, which translates into "fun for you," "better for you" and "good for you" (when it really contains six teaspoons of sugar)!
As activists from around the globe are convening at the Rio +20 conference to protect our common resources from private interests, the Stockholm International Water Institute's decision to award PepsiCo for its water efficiency is a cruel irony. There are some resources that simply shouldn't be bottled, traded or sacrificed to the market, and that is especially true of water.