Atlanta-based Coca Cola will begin featuring ads that address the problem of obesity. For example, one ad will feature a montage of activities that would add up to burning off the 140 calories in the can of Coke. Another ad discusses obesity being a concern for all and working together to make a difference.
From The Associated Press: (I bolded for a quick read)
“The Atlanta-based company on Monday will begin airing a two-minute spot during the highest-rated shows on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC in hopes of flexing its marketing muscle in the debate over sodas and their impact on public health. The ad lays out Coca-Cola’s record of providing drinks with fewer calories over the years and notes that weight gain is the result of consuming too many calories of any kind — not just soda….”
“For Coca-Cola, the world’s No. 1 beverage company, the ads reflect the mounting pressures on the broader industry. Later this year, New York City is set to put into effect a first-in-the-nation cap on the size of soft drinks sold at restaurants, movie theaters, sports arenas and other venues. The mayor of Cambridge, Mass., has already proposed a similar measure, saying she was inspired by New York’s move.”
“And when PepsiCo Inc., the No. 2 soda maker, recently signed a wide-ranging endorsement deal with pop singer Beyonce, critics called for her to drop the contract or donate the funds to groups that fund health initiatives.”
“Recent studies have also suggested that sugary drinks cause people to pack on the pounds, independent of other behavior. A decades-long study involving more than 33,000 Americans, for example, suggested that drinking sugary beverages interacts with genes that affect weight and amplifies a person’s risk of obesity beyond what it would be from heredity alone.”
“Mike Jacobson, executive director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest, was skeptical about the intent behind Coca-Cola’s ads and said that if the company was serious about helping reduce obesity, it would stop fighting soda taxes.”
“It looks like a page out of damage control 101,” he said. “They’re trying to disarm the public.”
“The Center for Science in the Public Interest has been critical of the soft drink industry and last year released a video parodying Coke’s famous polar bears becoming plagued with diabetes and other health problems from drinking too much soda.”
“Coca-Cola said its ads aren’t a reaction to negative public sentiment, however. Instead, the idea is to raise awareness about lower-calorie drinks and what it plans to do in coming months, said Stuart Kronauge, general manager of sparkling beverages for Coca-Cola North America.”
‘There’s an important conversation going on about obesity out there, and we want to be a part of the conversation,’ she said.”
“In the ad, a narrator notes that obesity “concerns all of us” but that people can make a difference when they “come together.” The spot was produced by Brighthouse and Citizen2 and is intended to reflect Coca-Cola’s corporate responsibility to cable news viewers.”
“Another ad, which will run later this week during “American Idol” and before the Super Bowl, is much more reminiscent of catchy, upbeat advertising people have come to expect from Coca-Cola. It features a montage of activities that add up to burning off the “140 happy calories” in a can of Coke: walking a dog, dancing, sharing a laugh with friends and doing a victory dance after bowling a strike….”
“Coca-Cola declined to give details on what it plans for the year ahead. But among the options under consideration is putting the amount of activity needed to burn off the calories in a drink on cans and bottles.”
The company noted it has already made several moves to help customers make better choices, such as putting calorie counts on the front of its cans and bottles in the U.S. Last year, it also started posting calorie information on its vending machines ahead of a regulation that will require soda companies to do so by 2014.”
So what do you think: Is Coke sincere in wanting help fight obesity? Do you think the ads will help? Will putting the calories on the side of the can help fight obesity?
I’m all for more information. I have mentioned before that I love that restaurants in California have the calories listed. I wish coffee makers would put exact caffeine counts on their packaging. I want to know exactly how much I am taking in and numbers are hard to find.
One of the big things I try to stress to our kids is what empty calories are and where they are coming from. My kids will beg for sweetened cereals and I literally tell them you know these are a treat and not a healthy breakfast. They use it as a treat instead of cookies (there are some vitamins in there) or maybe for breakfast on the weekend but never breakfast before school.
I think parents also have to teach moderation for all foods and drink.
Will ads help reign in kids drinking sweetened drinks? Would you rather them drink a diet soda with an artificial sweetener or drink the real sugar with the calories?
Do you teach your kids about empty calories? Do you teach moderation with foods and drinks? If so, how?