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Hurray! Now what next?

July 26th, 2012 by

Asda, McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Adidas, VISA… In the last couple of weeks we’ve taken on some of the most powerful companies in the world – and won! Our petition to Asda helped pressure them to increase the price they pay farmers for their milk. And together, we’ve forced them to pay their fair share of tax during the Olympics. All of the companies we targeted have now said they won’t be using the tax break open to Olympic sponsors. Read the 14 statements here.

This campaign was something new. 38 Degrees members are used to taking on the government. But this was the first time we’ve targeted big global companies. We knocked them over one by one, gaining strength with each fresh victory.

This win is more proof that when we work together, we get results. That’s why as 38 Degrees members we choose what we campaign on together. Member polls are an important part of deciding what we should focus on next. Should we concentrate on protecting the NHS and the environment? Should we be cracking down on bankers? Perhaps you have an idea of your own?

Can you take the two minute survey and help set the direction of 38 Degrees?

When 38 Degrees members first saw the tax breaks for Olympic sponsors, exposed in a piece by the magazine Ethical Consumer, it may have seemed unlikely that these heavyweight multinationals could be forced to back down. But we were successful because we used our power as customers. The same strategy worked on Asda.

The sponsors were hoping to get a big boost from their involvement with the Games. But our huge petition and the flood of activity on Facebook and Twitter had them worried. They could see it was safer to back down on the tax break than to risk a PR disaster with the very people who buy their products.

Fixing this particular tax dodge is a step in the right direction and a glimpse of what we can do – but there’s so much more to do. Recent reports suggest that the UK could be losing trillions of pounds in dodged tax every year. Should we follow up our Olympic success by keeping the focus on tax-dodging or should we be prioritising other campaigns? Perhaps we should be concentrating on tackling climate change, stopping the privatisation of the police, or protecting the BBC. Or is there something else you’d like to suggest?

Take the quick survey and help decide what we should work on next together.

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  • http://london2012guide.net/2012/07/27/the-10-best-things-about-london-2012/ The 10 Best Things About London 2012 | The Complete Guide to London 2012

    [...] successes by getting McDonalds, adidas, and every other corporate sponsor to announce they will not be claiming the tax [...]

  • http://www.reallybigroadtrip.com/2012/07/occupypride/ #OccupyPride | reallybigroadtrip

    [...] the HMRC gets away with making some pretty dubious ‘sweetheart deals‘ and it took a public campaign to force the Olympic corporate sponsors to turn down their offered tax [...]

  • http://twitter.com/MargaretScratch Mr MargaretScratcher

    I’m just wondering where all this extra tax, which the government seemingly weren’t too fussed about collecting, is now going to go?


  • Ian Rathbone

    Well done!

  • http://twitter.com/JimFurth BonnieBlueFlag

    About time, I hate tax DODGERS!

  • http://twitter.com/JimFurth BonnieBlueFlag

    Way past time, dodging taxes is dodging responsibility and does not need recognition.

  • http://www.facebook.com/miles.greenford Miles Greenford

    Coke and the London Olympics – what a massive SCAM!!!
    Just come back from the Excel Arena after watching the fencing sabre semi and finals.
    Not allowed to bring drinks in due to security risks but can take empty bottles.
    Soft drinks provider franchised to Coke so no competition – here anyway lol
    Saw the first vender selling 500ml bottle for £2.30 (our corner shop sells them for £1.20). So, wandered on to vending machines; Coke franchise – £2.30 for 500ml bottles.
    Now really starting to wonder; checked across the entire arena that could enter and only Coke franchise with many competing eateries sell Coke for – yep, you guessed it £2.30! Vending machine being stocked by engineer and confirmed that all Olympic stadiums in London at least are franchised to Coke. And yes; you certainly are smart as you’re right. Everyone selling Coke, as instructed (by whom don’t know) at the same price of £2.30! Great to see the market forces and competitive spirit of Coke (as one of the London Olympic Sponsors) being put into practice – N.O.T.

  • MattC

    The detail set out in this petition seems pretty short on detail. Can someone tell me exactly how these companies are dodging tax?. Always willing to support a good cause, but from the detail given, I have no idea what these companies are doing wrong. It seems as though I`m just expected to believe the statement and use it as an opportunity to bash a multinational.

  • MattC

    From the detail that I can see, the Government have given a tax break to sponsors of the Olympics as a sweetener to get them to sponsor the games. Maybe the government shouldnt` have done this and we should have paid fior the games out of taxation. Maybe we should have put up VAT and income tax to pay for the games. Has the penny dropped yet?

  • joe Buckham

    well done,keep up the good work

  • Nautical_Nick

    Why do you censor comment.  Like Putin.  You should be ashamed of yourselves. 

  • yansang

    As many have already said the real issue is the government allowing tax loopholes and incentives to exist. The government should be under fire for this. We are not ‘losing trillions of pounds in doged tax’ the government are giving it way.

  • http://msb5.wordpress.com/2012/08/03/olympics-in-the-age-of-corporatism/ Olympics in the age of corporatism | The Media Student's Book Blog

    [...] of the official sponsors is one of the worst crimes but it was at least some relief to learn that campaigns to shame corporations like McDonalds and Coca Cola into foregoing some of the tax breaks they might have exploited as part of their [...]

  • http://tessagooding.wordpress.com/2012/08/04/the-olympics-an-enjoyable-collective-event-marred-by-private-profit-and-conservative-patriotism/ The Olympics: an enjoyable collective event marred by private profit and conservative patriotism | tessa gooding

    [...] as part of the UK’s bid to host the Olympics. But thanks to the fantastic campaign group 38 Degrees, they have agreed to pay to avoid bad publicity. However, as the Guardian reported, ‘The new [...]

  • Schmalx

    This is really disgusting! Welcome to the club of super greedy tax dodgers, GOOGLE! I will look for alternatives to zour products and services and will recommend this to my friends as well! Don’t forget you are nothing without your customers!

  • http://thinkfunding.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/counting-the-cost-of-the-olympics/ Counting the cost of the Olympics | thinkfunding

    [...] who forced the 14 major Olympic sponsors to state publicly they would not be taking advantage of a tax loophole provided by the [...]

  • Spencera11

    i think this will only stop when these people are targeted, either by hackers or physically…in past histroy these things stopped when the people did something but now the control is stupidly strong on our chains…what is the modern way to deal with these crimminals who apparently are all within the law?

  • Dustersbloozeband

    People need to start boycotting brands and stop buying products produced by ANYONE who treats this country and it’s people so appallingly.

  • http://www.simeonjackson.co.uk/2012/08/14/olympics-good-bailouts-bad/ Why I think the Olympics were good but bank bailouts were bad – Simeon Jackson

    [...] And will the government get back any of that?  Of course! Their employees will pay income tax and the businesses that ride on the Olympic wave will pay their rates and taxes (in part thanks to our friends at 38 degrees). [...]

  • Frank phillips

    I notice that Vodaphone is conspicuous by its absence………….!!!!

  • Guest

    If you are concerned about tax dodging, let’s stop the dodging at its core. The all-evil tax havens! There is a big one right in the middle of London –

  • http://www.facebook.com/renato.rodrigues.353803 Renato Rodrigues

    Let’s stop the dodging at its core, the tax havens. There is a big one right in the middle of London! –

  • Econstudent

    Has anyone considered that maybe we tax companies too much, in too complex a fashion? Why not cut and simplify taxes, without any tax breaks or subsidies, and then make any degree of evasion illegal?

  • http://notjustagranny.wordpress.com/2012/10/17/r-i-p-starbucks-gingerbread-latte/ R.I.P. Starbucks gingerbread latte «

    [...]  Since the furore created with the news that the many of the large Corporations sponsoring the London2012 Olympics were exempt from paying tax I have decided to take a stand and boycott any company that does not pay [...]

  • Peter Gordon

    How about a campaign to get Starbucks to contribute their fair share…

  • Kenif1946

    We need to have a check on those companies, to ensure that they have not said one thing and done another ! Pessimistic.. No ……..realistic ……YES. Who believes the corporates any more.

  • Jon Biel

    Focus on government not companies. It is a company’s sole purpose to maximise profit (that is capitalism). It is a government’s job to tax them. The companies will do anything they can get away with to maximise profits, including using all the loopholes, lobbying government and supporting the main political parties. It is the people’s job to hold the government to account. Companies will not go away if we tax them, they will still make a profit. The idea that we need to reduce taxes to keep business in the UK is ludicrous, they will not make any money from us if they leave. Big banks need a big economy to bail them out when it goes tits up, they ain’t going anywhere.

  • Jim Mason

    We can’t really understand why the Gov’t don’t just change the tax rules and close the loopholes instead of employing so many more Inspectors, Sure the increase will create jobs but that money would best be srved by Infrastructure developments which wiil creat so many more jobs. And wouldn’t it be a good idea for them to promote new industries here and stop all this importing from abroad. (which seems to be from the far east, to a great extent.) With Hitachi now in control of potentially so much Power 52000MW the screws on our Heating Bills wil;l forever get tighter. The financial viability of our country will be controlled from Interests outside this country and the Government will be powerless to stop it!
    sincerely, Jim

  • janet swiss

    WHY NOT?

    I’m fed up with ” What’s in it for me?”
    Why can’t we offer ideas without demanding payment?
    Why can’t we do the best of what we can dream,
    not just want what’s in it for me?

    Why can’t we give Britain a challenge, to be an example of how the future
    COULD be?
    We need a common goal to revive our pride in ‘ Made in England’ .
    Small IS beautiful.

    Why can’t we work out a system to replace the poor and shoddy,
    to build the simplest and the best, learning from our past mistakes.

    Instead of building on Green belts,
    why cant we re~village our cities and towns?

    Why can’t we hold national competitions, with Government prizes and
    backing,for local competitions amongst architects and builders,
    to design imaginative, creative places, good to live in,
    to replace run down, badly designed inner city areas?

    To reduce the need for commuter travel and cars, by providing more local
    transport. (Why can’t trains run with photo voltaic roofs?)

    Give everyone the opportunity to have their say, to join in and share, to

    All to be as simple and sustainable as possible, using
    maximum water, solar, photo voltaic and wind energy, insulation,
    rain collection and storage for grey water.
    Designed with garden walls and greenhouses,fruit-
    and nut- tree filled green spaces and playing areas, and small

    Complexes and closes of homes and flats of different sizes, 4-6 floors high

    Shops,markets, places for prayer, doctors surgeries, hospitals, schools,
    police stations, sheltered housing, library/web centres, sport centres,
    room for teenagers to hang out or let off steam,
    and safe places for young children to play.

    And most of all integral business areas to revive the basic skills and
    local stuffs we need,
    that could made us independent and proud to be British.



  • Anonymous

    ATOS KILLS proof on YouTube.

    OVER 10,000 DEAD but this is hidden from the Public as is ATOS getting Millions off Tax Payers to do it.

    The Media hide it.

  • Jackie

    We are ruining the countryside with wind turbines which are subsidised and are making land owners and the electricity providers huge amounts of money at the expense of the tax payer, and they are not economically viable without the subsidy.