Coca-Cola Says It Will Stop Marketing To Kids

Being the nation’s largest soft-drink company, Coca-Cola has found itself the target of criticism from some lawmakers, regulators, public health advocates, and parents about sugary drinks’ contribution to America’s expanding waistline. Today, the company announced several goals intended to shake that stigma, including a promise to stop marketing directly to children.

The company unveiled four health-related goals that it says will be implemented not just in the U.S. but in all 200 countries in which it does business:

1. Offer low- or no-calorie beverage options in every market;
2. Provide transparent nutrition information, featuring calories on the front of all of our packages;
3. Help get people moving by supporting physical activity programs in every country where we do business;
4. Market responsibly, including no advertising to children under 12 anywhere in the world.

“Obesity is today’s most challenging health issue, affecting nearly every family and community across the globe. It is a global societal problem which will take all of us working together and doing our part,” said Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company. “We are committed to being part of the solution, working closely with partners from business, government and civil society.”

We don’t know if the marketing promise will change much of what U.S. consumers see, as Coca-Cola’s current policy is to not advertise when the audience is at least 35% children under the age of 12.