IOGT International sends Open Letter to UNICEF Executive Director Mr. Anthony Lake.
In an Open Letter, following a public event at the United Nations in New York a few days ago, IOGT International calls foul on the collaboration between UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, and Mr. David Beckham, a global icon that has wide appeal among children worldwide, and who has a lucrative endorsement deal with the world’s biggest producer of hard alcohol, Diageo.
In the Open Letter to Mr. Lake, IOGT International President Kristina Sperkova writes:
We hold that children have a right to grow up free from alcohol and other drugs. We believe that being exposed to alcohol marketing is a violation of that right. We advocate for the Best Interest principle enshrined in the CRC and thus come to the conclusion that evidence-based alcohol policy measures help to protect and promote the rights and well being of children around the world.
Diageo has opposing interests. For Diageo, children are not rights-holders but future bottle holders, frequent customers and loyal brand affiliates.
The Open Letter puts forward evidence of the unethical business practices of the company that Mr. Beckham has chosen to associate with. The Open Letter also presents both evidence on alcohol harm burdening children and youth and how Diageo targets children with its aggressive marketing practices.
Ms. Sperkova writes:
Mr. Beckham has, unfortunately, no credibility and no legitimacy as UNICEF Good Will Ambassador in general and as presenter of “the voices of youth” at the United Nations in particular.
On behalf of the members of IOGT International, I encourage you and UNICEF to hold your Good Will Ambassadors to higher standards.
We are convinced that the cause of child rights deserves champions that are free from conflict of interest and that do not endorse unethical companies and harmful products.