Global Health Ideas

Finding global health solutions through innovation and technology

The Good: Olympic Global Health Ad and The Bad:Olympic Ethnic/Economic Cleansing?

Olympic Success
Given the primacy of the Olympics, this is well worth covering. First with regard to ExxonMobil’s commercial on Malaria during prime time, when over 1 Billion people were watching, this might have been the largest audience ever for a global health ad. In our previous post on this olympian ad, I think Rob Katz from Acumen put perfectly:

“I’ve seen the ad twice already (during the opening ceremonies and again today.) It’s great to see Exxon Mobil spending as much as $750,000 to promote its social responsibility efforts around malaria. What’s even better is that Steven Phillips – who appears in the commercial – makes it a point to say that malaria isn’t just a CSR initiative for Exxon. Rather, it’s a business continuity issue – if Exxon’s workers are sick, the company loses money. Having a productive workforce is serious business, and Exxon appears to be serious about large scale malaria prevention activities, including insecticide-treated net distribution and even indoor residual spraying…”

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Olympic Agony
Now, for the ugly side of the Olympics, the excerpts from below have strong wording (ethnic cleansing for example), but it is worth reading and considering. Disclaimer: I have not verified the data sources used or the robustness of the analysis. They do offer a solution at the end – keep the Olympics in one location or set of locations. From the Gaurdian UK:

“Everywhere they go, the Olympic Games become an excuse for eviction and displacement. In every city it examined, the Olympic Games – accidentally or deliberately – have become a catalyst for mass evictions and impoverishment. Since 1988, over 2 million people have been driven from their homes to make way for the Olympics.”

  • 1988 Olympics in Seoul-720,000 people were thrown out of their homes.
  • 1996 Olympics, The Games were an excuse to engineer a new ethnic cleansing programme. Without any democratic process, they demolished large housing projects (whose inhabitants were mostly African-American) – Around 30,000 families were evicted. The police were given pre-printed arrest citations bearing the words “African-American, Male, Homeless”… In the year before the Games, they arrested 9,000 homeless people.
  • 2008 Olympics, In Beijing, 1.25m people have already been displaced to make way for the Games, and another quarter of a million are due to be evicted.

Full article here…

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Written by Aman

August 12, 2008 at 8:17 pm

Posted in Global Health

3 Responses

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  1. […] on Fri 12-12-2008 A Creative Capitalism Compendium Saved by xxItachisBitchxx on Thu 11-12-2008 The Good: Olympic Global Health Ad and The Bad:Olympic… Saved by steamyrobotlove on Wed 10-12-2008 Marginalisasi No! Eksistensi Yes! Saved by […]

  2. […] out the Technology, Health & Development blog for a good post about how this commercial is one of this year’s Olympic successes: In our […]

  3. Yeah, I’ve always thought about that. $300 million was spent on the opening ceremonies alone while half of their population is in poverty or starving. But what’re you going to do?

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    August 14, 2008 at 8:33 am


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