Coca-Cola Told by Australian Regulator to Fix 'Misleading' Ads
By Robert Fenner
April 2, 2009

Coca-Cola Co., the world's largest soft-drink maker, will publish "corrective" advertisements in Australian newspapers after the consumer regulator said they were misleading.

Court-enforceable undertakings to run the new ads in eight newspapers have been agreed to by Coca-Cola South Pacific Pty., the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said in an e- mailed statement today. Coca-Cola South Pacific is the Australian marketing arm of Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co.

The advertisements with Australian actress Kerry Armstrong, first published in October, ran under the title "Motherhood & Myth-Busting." They referred to myths about Coca-Cola such as claims the soda makes consumers fat, rots teeth and are high in caffeine.

"Coke's messages were totally unacceptable, creating an impression which is likely to mislead that Coca-Cola cannot contribute to weight gain, obesity and tooth decay," ACCC Chairman Graeme Samuel said in the statement. "They also had the potential to mislead parents about the potential consequences of consuming Coca Cola."

Kelly Brooks, a Sydney-based spokesman for Coca-Cola South Pacific, didn't return a voicemail message left on his office phone.

Coca-Cola also agreed to run the new ads on its Web site and implement a review of its compliance with trade practices law, the regulator said.

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