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Coca-Cola announces further action to combat child obesity June 14, 2013

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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Coca-Cola released its “Coming Together” advertisement in early 2013, and formally announced that it would take action against child obesity. While it announced that it was continuing to offer zero calorie and low calorie options, the company recently announced that it would reduce advertising directed to children while further sponsoring physical activity programs. As Advertising Age reported, no timeline was given for these actions.

Is Coke finally listening to the American public? Sort of, depending on who you ask. While it is a good direction, many analysts believe that the company is making shallow promises with the hope of improving its image. As Marion Nestle of foodpolitics.com wrote, “This looks to me like a major public relations campaign to keep vending machines in schools and head off federal, state, or local soft drink taxes or soda caps.” Nestle added, “The only way Coke can really help address obesity and poor diets is to sell less soda—the one thing its stockholders will not allow.  And the company is doing everything it can to fight city and state soda taxes, portion size caps, or anything else that might reduce sales.”

For more on Coca-Cola’s new effort, see the following story from CNN:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Why is Coca-Cola advertising that it wants to combat child obesity? How is this mission in the company’s best interest?

2.  Is limiting advertising to children enough to limit their consumption of sugary drinks?

3.  Will efforts like those of Coca-Cola successfully convince the federal government that further regulation of the food industry is unnecessary?

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