Our View: Will ads change the game?

Jan. 15, 2013 @ 09:25 AM

On Monday, Coca-Cola announced that it was going to start airing commercials regarding a topic that is taboo in the advertising world.

It will begin airing a two-minute commercial about obesity.

Now, before anyone starts to dream of images where a national company talks about its product and how wrong it is to over-consume it because it is bad, hold back a little.

The Atlanta-based Coca-Cola plans on advertising how its drinks have become less caloric over the years and obesity is related to calories of any kind, not just soda.

To us, this sounds less about educating the public about the dangers surrounding calorie intake and how soda is directly correlated to that and more like a white-wash against mounting pressure over sodas in general.

Sometime this year, according to The Associated Press, New York City will become the first city in the nation to regulate the size of sodas that can be sold in public places like restaurants and movie theaters. The AP also reported that the mayor of Cambridge, Mass. has proposed a similar measure.

Let's also be reminded about the past debate over a soda tax that, like tobacco, is meant more to curb the use of the product in more than just moderation and less about generating revenue.

Both measures have been fought extensively and expensively by soda makers.

Now, Coca-Cola has said that the new advertising campaign is not a public relations counter but, more of a need to raise awareness about their lower-calorie drinks.

It seems more like a campaign touting new products and less about raising awareness for a serious health issue that has plagued even Rutherford County.

Rutherford County, as well as the State of North Carolina, has had a serious issue with obesity and it is a problem that is not going away and is spreading rapidly.

As a community, we have to get out in front of it and take measures to address children and adults alike about the choices they have.

The health of our community, as we have stated before, should be at the forefront of our minds and not dismissed like so many other things we tend to forgo in our busy lives.

This advertising campaign should be more about serious health awareness and less about product promotion.

If a company wants to seriously invest advertising dollars to address an ever-growing problem in this country, that company would talk about its product and other similar ones and the potential dangers they may pose if consumed in high quantities.

What Coca-Cola is doing is nothing more than damage control and the American public should not praise or reward them for masking product promotion with health awareness.

By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board


The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Editor Matthew Clark