Stricter Marketing Ethics Introduced by Coca-Cola

In order to minimise the negative press over its sugary products being a contributor to health problems caused by obesity, soft drinks giant Coca-Cola has announced four pledges that will usher in more stringent marketing limitations, including no longer advertising to children under 12 years of age.

Responding to health campaigners insisting that sugary drinks play a major role in rising obesity levels, Coca-Cola has been ramping up its UK activity to promote healthy lifestyles over the past year - this includes a TV campaign in March to highlight the steps it has already taken to tackle obesity, becoming a signatory to the Government's anti-obesity "Responsibility Deal" with the private sector, and introducing reduced calorie Sprite in Britain.

Their latest move, announced yesterday in the US by CEO Muhtar Kent under the banner "Partnering for Healthier, Happier, More Active Communities", sees Coca-Cola outlining four pledges.

These are: offering low or zero calorie beverage options in every market, providing easily understandable nutrition information including displaying calories on the front of all beverage packages, supporting physical activity programs and stricter marketing ethics such as no advertising to children under 12 anywhere in the world.

The company has launched a website, at www.comingtogether.com, to inform the public about its efforts and invite feedback on its progress.

Mr Kent commented however that Coca-Cola cannot tackle the obesity crisis on its own and urged the need for closer collaboration between "business, Government and civil society".

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