Concerned about the possible imposition of a soda tax to help finance health-care reform, Coca-Cola and its biggest bottler, Coca-Cola Enterprises, are teaming up on a PR offensive.
The two Atlanta-based companies will be launching a print and digital campaign in seven key U.S. markets — Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston and Miami, CCE Chairman John Brock said in an interview.
“You’re going to see a lot more from us in days to come,” Brock said.
He railed against the notion of a penny-an-ounce tax that has been suggested on sugary sodas as “discriminatory.”
The tax would add significantly to the cost of buying Coke’s sugary soft drinks, which could in turn depress sales. For example, the cost of a 12-pack, Brock said, would rise $1.44 on about a $3 base.
“That’s mind-boggling,” he said.
Coke and CCE will be focusing their message on consumer choice. Brock pointed out that many of their products contain no sugar.
Since Congress will ultimately decide whether a tax is imposed, the ad campaign is expected to include political publications and Web sites in Washington.
For instant updates, follow me on Twitter.