"Jury" Raps Coca-Cola Over Ad Campaign
FoodWeek Australia
December 10, 2007

A "trial by jury" panel set up by The Parents Jury has returned a guilty verdict against Coca-Cola's marketing campaign that promotes Coca-Cola as a suitable accompaniment to the family dinner.

The trial by jury panel said the campaign is seriously undermining the healthy eating messages parents are trying hard to give to their children. The Parents Jury is a web-based forum of 3000 Australian parents who say they are alarmed by the effects of soft drink marketing on childhood obesity levels.

The Coca-Cola ad it cites promotes Coca-Cola as a drink to have with the family meal, saying "Meals come alive on the Coca-Cola side of life". The TV ad shows a family sitting down for a meal together with a bottle of Coke as the main drink. (You can view the ad at http://www.coca-cola.com.au/meals/)

Justine Hodge of The Parents Jury says the key message the ad is giving to families contradicts the health messages being given by health officials and governments across the world.

"The over-consumption of soft drinks has been clearly associated with rising levels of childhood overweight and obesity. Children should be encouraged to drink water with their meals, not energy dense sugary soft drinks that only add unnecessary kilojoules and are also highly detrimental to dental health."

"The Parents Jury urges Coca-Cola Amatil and other soft drink companies to stop this type of unhealthy marketing targeting children and families.

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