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Posts by Caitlin

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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