A campaign by beer maker A. Le Coq, which is donating funds to choirs and dance groups hoping to perform at the song festival scheduled for this summer, has been criticized by the event's organizers.
The head of the festival's foundation, Aet Maatee, said the drive abuses the festival and pits communities against each other, while Hannes Lents, head of the Terve Eesti foundation said the ad campaign is an example of corporations moving into gray areas, Eesti Päevaleht reported today.
A. Le Coq's CEO, Tarmo Noop, said the campaign is not directly linked to the festival, but as this year's focus is on singing and dancing (the festival is held every four years) they have decided to support choirs and dance groups.
The company donates six cents for each six pack of beer sold to either a choir or dance group, with customers choosing the category. The sum is handed to the choir and dance group which collects the most votes in an online competition.
After a public debate on the sale of alcohol at the festival, organizers decided to limit sale and consumption to a certain area on the grounds, with alcohol banned in the main areas. Only A. Le Coq beer will be sold at the event.