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Clooney Puts Pressure On Omega Watches Over Olympic Sponsorship

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If Chinese officials were hoping Steven Spielberg’s Olympic dis over Darfur would quickly blow over, George Clooney is here to remind them that they should get used to the criticism. Much to the chagrin of Beijing, Clooney is back in the media criticizing China’s involvement in resolving the crisis. Meanwhile, he’s also simultaneously applying pressure to a major Olympics global sponsor, Omega Watches. In an article on the BBC today, Clooney said “I have talked with Omega (about China) for over a year and will continue to talk to Omega. I have and will go to the places I and China do business and ask for help.”

Clooney enjoys a good relationship with Omega, having promoted the brand for several years now. Most recently, he joined an advisory board to help the watchmaker enter the fuel cell industry.

For their part, Omega respects Clooney’s passionate activism, but prefers to express its moral engagements through contracts and behind closed doors. From the article,

“‘We have full respect for his strong engagement in the fight for the good cause and share his opinion, especially concerning Darfur, and we are proud to work with a person who has such high ethical views,’ said Swatch chief executive Nick Hayek. ‘It is our policy not to get involved in politics because it would not serve the cause of the sport which is one most noble human endeavors for creating understanding and peace all over the world.’ Hayek said Omega would address China’s association with Sudan through direct high-level contacts rather than publicly. ‘Of course, it is a continuous process but we do it the Swiss way of ‘little strokes fell great oaks,’ Hayek said.”

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