Okay, cheesy headline but there is a good reason for it.
The lovely people at the Mule Newspaper in Manchester have uncovered some murky going-ons with the latest energy drink that ‘SUKK!’.
If you happen to live in Manchester, you would have had trouble avoiding this new jelly-based drink. SUKK were on local radio, on Spotify if you tried to avoid them, they wanted to be your friend on facebook and were being promoted all around town.
Well it turns out that the Tata Group, which is currently on the Burma Campaign for human rights and democracy blacklist for selling services and equipment to the Burmese government, has been using a subsidiary company called Clever Jelly to sell its latest drink in Manchester. Yep, you guessed it- Sukk.
According to the local Ethical Consumer Magazine, Burma is ruled by one of the world’s most brutal military regimes and has even used forced labour to prepare the country for tourism. War Resisters International have a page dedicated to the company’s seriously messy history and its role in violating human and labour rights and environmental standards, as well as their involvement in financial scams.
These include deadly conflicts with indigenous groups for mineral resources, pollution, supporting Hindi fundamentalist groups and setting up its military activities with a $50m investment from Israel to manufacture Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), electronic warfare systems, missiles, radar systems and security systems.
But that’s not all. It turns out that they have been using local grassroots organisations such as the alternative and quirky Afflecks Palace as well as the local cycling organisation ‘I Bike Mcr’ to promote their product.
Nes and Ed from the cycling group told the Mule: “If we had known who it was we wouldn’t have done it. The marketing company that approached us, Mad Media, said it was the Clever Jelly Company who wanted the promotion doing. They offered us £350 and as we’re in debt we took the money.”
“Initially they had tried to hijack Critical Mass but we were clear to them that this wasn’t appropriate. In the end we only had to send out an email and sort out a route and we refused all joint branding with them. In the past we’ve turned down corporate sponsorship. Red Bull approached a while ago but we said no,” continued Nes.
After talking to MULE, Bruntwood the company which owns the Afflecks building said that SUKK material would be taken down from the website and added that Afflecks would not be participating in anything similar again.
“If we’d have known beforehand we wouldn’t have gone ahead with the promotion…” explained Tony Martin of Bruntwood.
Its seems that the above were well and truly duped but apparently Manchester’s Key 103 is currently taking part in an online promotion with Tata and declined to comment after the MULE informed them they were supporting a company that had known links to military dictatorship.
Maybe someone should email them and politely tell them to think about it again and maybe change their mind. Here’s their email in case you were in that way inclined 🙂
Phone: 0161 288 0103 – Studio Phone Number
0161 288 5000 – Reception
Postal Address: Key 103,
It states on their website that “If making a complaint, please include your full name, postal address and telephone number so that we can contact you to discuss your comments. We reserve the right not to process complaints that do not include this information.”