The Government is looking for brands to sponsor the controversial G8 summit, which will be held in the UK next year. The annual conference has become synonymous with protests by anti-capitalist campaigners, which have led to riots.
In a move sure to enrage anti-capitalist campaigners, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is to seek corporate sponsorship for the 2005 summit, which will see the leaders of the eight largest industrial countries meet in the UK for the first time in seven years.
The FCO is also trying to find sponsorship for the European presidency, when it returns to the UK in the latter half of next year.
The G8 summit, whose location within the UK has yet to be chosen, has already attracted the attention of anti-capitalist campaigners, who have formed the “Dissent” group to help coordinate resistance.
The UK’s last G8 summit was held in Birmingham in 1998. World leaders were met by 4,000 anti-capitalists and news of protests in 40 cities around the world.
One source close to the initiative says the Government wants to save public money by creating barter deals with brands to help organise the event. He cites a car company such as Jaguar supplying the cars used at the event.
The FCO has asked sponsorship experts to help the search, with the first task being to identity exactly what sponsorship rights will be available.