Coca-Cola Fighting Against Obesity?
With the world-wide decline in soft drink consumption, Coca Cola has decided to change tactics with their new advertisements targeting obesity.
That’s right, obesity.
TV ads which started airing in July that are part of the new campaign, show a range of activities such as cycling and use the slogan “innovation, information and choices” in reference to addressing the nation’s obesity issues.
Coca-Cola’s key initiatives include increasing the availability of its smaller 250ml cans which it claims are currently available in 80 per cent of all supermarkets and to “continue to develop low-kilojoule alternatives.”
It says 25 per cent of its product portfolio in Australia is currently made up of low and no-kilojoule products.
Other initiatives include placing kilojoule information on its vending machines in addition to its products, and teaming up with the not-for-profit Bicycle Network to increase “access to bikes and motivating participants to get riding.”
The ads state that weight gain is the result of consuming too many calories of any kind — not just soft drink.
Coca-Cola Australia’s customer and commercial director, Phil Roberts said the company was “committed to being part of the solution” to Australia’s obesity problem.
Watch the ad yourself and try not to cringe.
If this had been released earlier in the year, I would have thought it was an April fools joke but sadly it’s left a sour taste in the mouths of public health advocates.
Leading Australian health groups have now launched an offensive against Coca-Cola’s latest advertising campaign.
Twelve health groups, including Diabetes Australia and Nutrition Australia, have written a joint letter to Coca-Cola calling on it to scrap its campaign for sugary drinks and pull out of children’s sport sponsorship.
Jane Martin from the Obesity Policy Coalition agrees.
“We call it ‘weight washing’. And it’s a bit of a worry when you see these large corporations get involved in public health,” she says.
“They’re not public health experts. They’re in the business of making money and selling product.”
Ever stood in front of a vending machine and wondered why a bottle of Coke is cheaper than a bottle of water?
If Coca Cola were serious about public health, this is where they should start.
Investing soft drink profits into cycling programs to help people lose weight doesn’t quite make sense to me.
The Australian public isn’t buying in it either with Coca Cola’s share price continuing to drop over the last 12 months.
Simply put, don’t take health advise from a soft drink company, you’re smarter than that.