Innocent courting corporate backers

InnocentInnocent Drinks is moving further away from its ethical roots as it looks to take on corporate partners to sponsor its new flagship summer event.

It is in talks with major advertisers to help support its summer of village fêtes.

But the smoothie maker, which recently announced that fast-food giant McDonald’s would be selling its drinks, is understood to have been turned down by packaged goods giant Procter & Gamble (P&G).

The move is likely to incur the wrath of those who believe Innocent is departing from its ethical values.

P&G-owned UK brand Ariel is thought to have turned down the ethical smoothie maker’s approach to sponsor its summer of village fêtes because it did not represent a good fit.

The UK Innocent business, which is run by former management consultant at McKinsey Jamie Mitchell, is now in the hunt for new corporate sponsors.

Richard Reed, Innocent founder, though, says a priority is getting brands on board who fit in with Innocent’s brand values. “It is important to get brands that fit the ideal and they also have to come and run something at the fête,” he says. 

Innocent recently announ-ced that it would not be running with its free-of-charge Fruitstock festival after four successful years (MW April 26). The decision came after last year’s festival attracted more than 120,000 people to Regent’s Park.
Innocent is understood to be wanting to keep the event, which will tour across the country, more low-key.

Partners at previous Fruitstock festivals include chocolate brand Green & Black’s and beer brand Cobra.

Proceeds for this year’s event, estimated to be around £150,000, will be shared between three charities, Samaritans, Friends of the Earth and WellChild.

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