Boycott Perrier

Newman calls for corporate protest

Rob Newman has urged fellow comedian to boycott this year's Perrier Award.

The anti-globalisation activist is protesting at parent company Nestle's sales of powdered baby milk in the Third World and said: "I regard this as a larger struggle against corporate power."

Newman is part of Baby Milk Action, which says breastfeeding should be encouraged in Third World countries rather than the use of artificial products. The group also says Nestle is promoting bottled water in the developing world, where clean piped water was the priority.

The campaign group also has the support of Emma Thompson, ironically a member of the Cambridge Footlights team which won the first Perrier award in 1981.

The award is handed out to what judges perceive as the comedy act at the Edinburgh Fringe, although established stars are not eligible. Newman took his show to the festival last year, but is not appearing this year.

A spokeswoman for Nestle, which brought Perrier in 1992, told the Independent that contrary to the activists' claims, the company did not advertise infant formula in the Third World. She said: "Many of the allegations about our behaviour are years out of date."

Newman is releasing a video of his live show, which rails against increasing corporate power, this autumn.

Published: 24 Jul 2001

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