I don’t have kids, but if I did, instead of breastfeeding them I would give them bottles of Coke. That’s because Coke is “wholesome.” And if they grew up drinking Coke, it would be because of the decisions I made and choices I taught them to take, because Coke has never advertised to kids. Both these “becauses” are supplied by Coca-Cola. See, Dr. Dr. Yoni Freedhoff spotted an ad page 1632 of the June 17th edition of the Canadian Medical Association Journal that said:
Can’t remember the last Coca-Cola ad targeted at children? There’s a reason…Parents tell us they prefer to be the ones teaching their children about beverage choices. That’s why for over 50 years we’ve adhered to a company policy that prohibits advertising soft drinks to children.
When he sent a letter to the editor of the medical journal, it got published, along with a response from Coke. Now the CanWest newswire service has picked up the story and Coke remains steadfast, calling their drinks “wholesome.”:
But Coca-Cola Canada stands by the position that it does not advertise soft drinks to children. “Absolutely, because it is true,” spokeswoman Amy Laski said in a statement.
Coke is “wholesome and suitable” for kids, but “we understand that children are impressionable, and we respect the role of parents and caregivers in making food and beverage choices with their children. Therefore, we are committed not to directly market messages for any of our beverages to children under 12.”
Oh, how soon we forget those New Kids On The Block branding partnerships of yesteryear!
Coca-Cola Lies to Doctors? [Weighty Matters]
Vetting journal advertisements [CMAJ]
Coca-Cola Canada responds [CMAJ]
Santa, animated animal ads not aimed at kids, Coke says [CanWest]