This really is the chip that breaks the camel's back, or something.
I'm not against sponsorship of the Games on principle, and as someone who has worked in advertising, I can understand where the sponsors like McDonald's are coming from. They are laying out huge sums of money at the invitation of the government - thus making the Games possible - and they want, reasonably enough, to ensure that they get bang for their buck.
As someone who is generally positive about the Olympics coming to London, I'm also inclined to be sympathetic to LOCOG's (London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games) travails, as it tries to stage the world's biggest sporting event on the terms the government has set for it.
But this - this is just abject. LOCOG could easily have drafted a contract that allowed for independent caterers to serve chips if they wanted to. McDonald's might not have been thrilled about that, but I suspect they wouldn't have too bothered either. To state the obvious, McDonald's is not sponsoring the Olympics so that it can sell some more chips in the Olympic Park. It is sponsoring the Olympics so that its brand is associated with the biggest sporting event on the planet. Its audience is global. The number of fries sold in Stratford during July will not be a key measure of success.
The chips memo, of course, is just one example of private companies exerting overweening power over an event that is meant to be for the public. Every one of these stories undermines the spirit of the Games. And although the government and LOCOG would like to present themselves as hard-headed realists in this debate, it's them who have been and are being naive.
Companies like McDonald's do sponsorship deals all the time. They're very good at negotiating them. But this isn't just any old sponsorship deal. It's a massively important public event, in which it's a privilege - for spectators, athletes and sponsors - to participate. Every potential sponsor should have been made very strongly aware of that from the outset.
In other words, if LOCOG had been stronger negotiators - if they had been more confident in what they had to offer to sponsors - the Olympics, for God's sake - then the balance of power would be more even and we would be reading fewer of these depressing stories.
Everyone has the right to work in a non-abusive environment. So why are the Olympic authorities allowing the Games' sponsors to abuse their power like this?