Jul 27, 2012 at 02:23 PM
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The Gold For Most Inappropriate Olympic Sponsor Goes To...

According to a new study by market research firm, Research Now, McDonald's is most often identified as the most inappropriate Olympic sponsor. The study surveyed 7,200 respondents across the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany and Australia to find that many consumers are confused about which companies are official Olympic sponsors, and believe that some are more “inappropriate” than others.

The results of the survey are probably not shocking to anyone that's been following press reports in the run-up to the Games, which have criticized McDonald's for promoting unhealthy food and by exclusivity, limiting options, for consumers in the Olympic village. For their part, the golden arches has responded aggressively in recent weeks by offering nutritional QR codes and low-calorie menus.

According to the survey, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Visa and Samsung all scored high awareness (over 90%) among respondents across all six countries. Respondents reported less familiarity with brands such as General Electric, Omega, Procter & Gamble, Dow and Atos; where respondents from the US and Canada were twice as likely as those from the UK, France and Germany to be familiar with GE and Procter & Gamble.

Brands that are associated with images of athleticism, but have no official affiliation with the Olympics are often being confused as sponsors, the researchers say. When asked a question designed to reveal which companies are perceived to have a sponsorship role in this year’s Olympics, 60% of American respondents and 67% of French respondents indicated that Nike is a sponsor. Additionally, 49% of all French respondents indicated that Evian is a sponsor, while 21% of British respondents indicated that Red Bull is a sponsor. Tech brands such as Microsoft and Google are also falsely identified as sponsors in the eyes of 14% of the Brits surveyed.

According to respondents, Coca–Cola, Visa and Samsung are the top three most appropriate sponsors for the Games.