Coca-Cola Attacked for Misleading Ads in Australia
Coca-Cola has been forced to defend advertisements starring the actress
Kerry Armstrong after a chorus of protest from pressure groups.
The Australian Dental Association has called on the company to withdraw
the full-page ad - which busts myths that fizzy drinks are unhealthy
- saying the information was either ambiguous or wrong.
The association took exception to the claim that the ad busted the
"myth" that Coke rots teeth.
Its president, Dr John Matthews, said: "We shouldn't rely upon Coca-Cola
for giving us dental health advice. They have underestimated the problem
and put a spin on it. Most people know Coke is bad for them but they
continue to do it so I don't know why Coca-Cola feels the need to
The ad claims saliva quickly washes away the drink, minimising decay,
but Mr Matthews said this would not be the case for many people who
sip and "constantly bathe" their mouth in soft drinks throughout their
day. "And to say tooth decay isn't a major problem is suggesting [the
problem is receding]. It is in countries with access to fluoride but
it's still a big health problem," he said.
The association is weighing up whether to complain to the Australian
Competition and Consumer Commission for false and misleading claims.
Craig Sinclair, a spokesman for The Parents Jury, a 3000-strong online
panel of parents, said the ads were similar to those featuring the
former Play School presenter Monica Trapaga promoting the nutritious
qualities of Coco Pops.
"They're clearly using the same approach, that is to make people feel
OK about drinking Coke. We are very concerned," Mr Sinclair said.
A Coca-Cola spokeswoman said it stuck by its ads. "We wanted to bust
the myth that you can't consume Coca-Cola and have healthy teeth.
This is simply not true."
FAIR USE NOTICE. This document contains copyrighted material whose use has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. India Resource Center is making this article available in our efforts to advance the understanding of corporate accountability, human rights, labor rights, social and environmental justice issues. We believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.