Coca-Cola removed four ads from Russian TV this week

Coca-Cola removed four ads from Russian TV this week

The Coca-Cola Co has said proposed legislation from Russia's Communist Party to tax sugary beverages would only harm Russia's economy.

The soft drinks makers, which was this week branded “unfriendly” by the Communist faction in the state Duma, said a tax would raise prices for consumers and “ultimately harm the Russian economy”. “The call for a soft drink tax is an old, ineffective approach to a very complex issue,” Coca-Cola said.

Communist politicians said they would seek to introduce a sugar tax on beverages including brand Coca-Cola in the Autumn, the Moscow Times reported yesterday, citing comments from the newspaper Izvestia. 

The party's chief lawyer, Vadim Solovyov, reportedly said the move would help make the nation healthier, but also punish Coca-Cola for an alleged anti-Russian stance.

The company this week withdrew four television commercials from Russian TV and Solovyov was quoted as saying: “A boycott against this drink would be good, because that was a clearly unfriendly step toward Russia.”

However, Coca-Cola told just-drinks: “As a result of Coca-Cola sales performance in Russia in Q2 2014 our company decided to change the advertising plan in Q3 and concentrate on key federal and most effective TV channels for our target audience.”