Advertising, Public Relations and 2008 Beijing Olympics
Even after wining the chance to host the 2008 Beijing Olympics, china public relations was in a great mess and a thorough cleaning was first required to add weight to the assurances that the games would help to reinforce the improvement of human rights in the country. China image was so rotten back then that; the government had to hire the services of a western public relations firm to cover the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
One of the public relations challenges was the spread of claims that china reprehensible responsibility in the Darfurs western Sudanese province was fail-safe to compose Beijing the Genocide Olympics. These disagreements concluded in February 2008 in resignition of Stephen Spielberg as creative director of the Olympics’ opening and concluding ceremonial. At this point though, the Chinese government could safeguard the manifestation of wounded self-importance by stating that Spielberg had never signed a contract and so there was nothing there for him to resign.
In the second place, the Tibetan-populated areas were in chaos in the mid march 2008 which led to the death of at least 100 people as reported by the Tibetan sources. These were closely followed by incidents of remonstration in the Xingjian province of northwest. Thirdly, the Olympic torchs global procession encountered vocal demonstrations in several western capitals which resulted to chaotic scenes as the Chinese defenders of their states rights and self-esteem come to blows with Tibetan activists and western human rights protestors (Zhao, 2006).
In the fourth place, china continues to force its own internal dissidents; the internet and environments campaigner Hu jia, three and a half year bans handed in 2008 April for crimes of rebellion is a visible example among many. In addition china has remained silent on the issues of the Darfur since it has for the longest time supported the Sudanese government by supplying them with ammunitions while it remains a major investor particularly in its oil industry
Mostly the Protesters range from fringe anti-Olympics groups and native resistance organization, to associations fighting for more social housing. Some of the protesters are against Olympics since they believe that by allowing it to occur in their country, there will be bias for the visitors who will continue to receive numerous privileges all at the expense of the tax paying local resident.
They also argue that the government spends lots of moneys reconstructing things like sports fields and other recreational facilities whiles some of the citizens continue to live desperate lives where obtaining food or shelter is quit an uphill task. Another perspective is seen form the fact that since the country gains so much from the event it does little with the money to improve the peoples living styles while the money ends up in several pockets and is rarely accounted for.
There are also allegations that the Olympics have been used as a way of erasing from the foreigners the fact that some residents leave below the poverty levels and that they go hungry or thirsty for long times yet the government does nothing about it (ibid). Protesters look at things politically and mostly turn against the targeted areas of improvements as favoring a certain group of individuals in the society.
These allegations are mainly true since owners of large companies earn tenders to supply drinks during the Olympics make a large amount of money but does little or nothing with the money to assist the less privileged in the society. On the contrary, they pay large amounts of incentives to the government to keep good relations for such favors in the future. Protesters also involve topics like environment justice and claim that Olympics come with lots of fun and entertainment where noise, air and soil pollution are at their peak. In addition they also claim that prices for most commodities will go high and make it hard for them to have basic needs.
The activists target Olympics for several reasons as well. Mostly they tend to convince people to accept change than go pushing the government to change in their favor. Activists also look at the turn of events during Olympics like neglect of human rights by the governments and accuse them on having weakened conspiracy on the issues that affect the citizens. Advertising during the Olympics offsets the potential for bad publicity in so many ways.
First, the global audience is so charged during Olympics where each represented country anticipates a win and therefore wants just to listen to what in any time may bring joy to them and their countries. As a result, the audiences remained tuned to stations they airing or showing live videos of the Olympics. All the other stations that may be in the need to communicate other matters are therefore outdone and it remains mystery what happened no matter how serous it may be. The effects of such content becomes of importance only after the Olympics where it may have little or no use.
Stations hosting the Olympics are urged to comply with new rules which require them not to use them as channels to spread any bad news since the underlying issue is to create an image for the country and not expose its problems (ibid). The use of promotional billboards, pages in the news papers and magazines as well as posters and fliers takes up space that could have been somehow used to point out the local happenings of a society and it would just end up in the wrong hands.
In the 2008 Beijings Olympics, some companies heard the cries and pleas of he local protests and joined hands with them to see to it termination. Only three companies German sporting goods company Adidas, photographic firm Kodak and fast food chain Mc Donalds got excelling grades from the activist team called Dream for darfur for participating in addressing the conflict. This demonstrated that some sponsors were not lead by moral cowardice but instead they spoke out publicly about the war in Darfur irrespective of what was be done to them.
In particular, Adidas and Kodak had both jolted letters to the UN at the will of dream for Darfur, while Mc Donald took consecutive number of undefined actions on Darfur. The reason for low participation of sponsors in the participation to eradicate the wicked in the society is because of the disparity to win the hearts of the so many Chinese who made potential consumers. The Dream for Darfur in response planned to stage a protest at Coca Cola headquarters in Atlanta followed by another one at Boston headquarters for office supplier staples, yet an Olympic Sponsor company.
. Hill & Knowlton Shanghai. Retrieved on 26-02-2011 from http://blogarchive.hillandknowlton.com/blogs/ampersand/pages/pr-in-china-2008-pr- industry-overview.aspx
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