Olympic sponsors having second thoughts?

Amid lethal violence in Tibet and anti-Beijing demonstrations elsewhere, do you suppose some Olympic sponsors are quietly wishing they’d chosen to spend their marketing money elsewhere? It’s one thing when activists are criticizing you for insufficient fealty to an abstraction like human rights; it’s another when consumers en masse are seeing reports (and, perhaps, photos) of bloodshed in the streets. There’s a history of “ambush marketing” in which companies that aren’t official sponsors try to link themselves to the Olympics. This time around, one can imagine a brand publicizing the fact that it isn’t a sponsor. (Then again, it’d have to be a brand that has no ambition of doing business in China in this millennium.)

—Posted by Mark Dolliver