Coca-Cola has been a frequent scapegoat in America’s obesity problem, and new Coke ads addressing obesity are a first for the company as it tries to combat negative ideas about its products and their effects on American waistlines.
The Coke obesity ads aren’t the first time the company has addressed soft drink backlash in recent months, and Coca-Cola commented back last year when New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg took aim at soda with official in-city bans on large size drinks in an effort to curb the problem.
The unique NYC soft drink ban was widely discussed, and Coca-Cola commented upon the controversy in June.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal after the ban was announced, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent said in part of Coke’s obesity link and how it is viewed in the public health sphere:
“[Obesity] is an important, complicated societal issue that we all have to work together to provide a solution… That’s why we are working with government, business and civil society to have active lifestyle programs in every country we operate by 2015.”
Now Coke is again addressing the problem with obesity in the series of ads, which address the balance of treats like sugary soda and adequate physical activity.
Diana Garza Ciarlante, a spokeswoman for Coca-Cola, explained that Coke has “not done a good enough job in telling our story and being consistent in telling our story” but that the company was taking pains to avoid being “preachy” in the health-focused spots.
One new Coca-Cola obesity ad, airing during Coke-happy American Idol, will instruct viewers how to burn off the “140 happy calories” each can of Coke contains.