Blog: Chris Brook-CarterCoke misunderstood?

Chris Brook-Carter | 24 November 2003

A story doing the rounds in last week’s UK national and trade press claimed that the Coca-Cola Company had announced it will no longer advertise to children aged under 12.

In fact as Coke’s communications director Martin Norris confirmed to just-drinks, “Coca-Cola has had a policy in place for the last 50 years not to target children with adverts for carbonated soft drinks. In July we restated that policy, to bring all the brands we sell now under the same umbrella. No announcement has been made. This is not a new policy.”

So, is this sensationalist journalism, a twisting of the facts, or just outright confusion on exactly where Coke does stand on the issue of promoting to kids?

A policy such as this should be applauded, particularly when introduced some 50 years before the social pressure that is being brought to bare now, as ahead of its time, even visionary. However, while Coke continues to ally itself in sponsorship with such iconic childrens’ images as Harry Potter, as it did in 2001, it is both difficult to take it seriously and easy to see where the confusion springs from.

Coke’s defence was that the promotion was part of a commitment to improve literacy. But the boundaries between social philanthropy and advertising are extremely blurred in this case. And, until Coke takes more proactive measures to ensure children are not targeted directly it will continue to come under fire.


BLOG

The brutal truth behind India's temperance movement

Some people in India believe alcohol should be more difficult to purchase. Last month, the state of Bihar halted all alcohol sales as its chief minister made good on an election promise. ...

BLOG

How to test Heineken's sense of humour

Greetings from Zurich. Here as a guest of Heineken's Amstel brand, I'm due to sit down later today with the group's senior global director for international brands, Walter Drenth....

BLOG

Which spirits category is the next big thing?

Drinks companies spend a lot of money on trying to predict trends. At last night's Worshipful Company of Distillers City debate, any strategists in the audience got a bit of forecasting for free....

BLOG

Aperol Spritz - Just the one. A large one?

I'll admit to being partial to an Aperol Spritz now and again, more usually in the summer months, sitting outside, shades on, slowly turning more golden/rusty....

just-drinks homepage



Forgot your password?