Coca-Cola addresses sugar reduction, KFC unveils Colonel-shaped pool floats: International round-up

Plus Jägermeister hopes to heal football fans’ broken hearts and critics call for Amazon to stop selling facial recognition technology to police.

Coca-Cola ‘listens to consumers’ and addresses sugar reduction

Soft drinks giant Coca-Cola has launched an ad campaign in Australia to address the fact it is reducing sugar across its portfolio.

The company has pledged to cut down on the amount of sugar in its drinks, prompted by changing consumer preferences and calls for the implementation of a sugar tax.

Australian health advocates are calling for the nation, which is one of the fattest on earth, to follow in the UK’s footsteps and introduce a tax on sugary drinks.

While Coca-Cola Amatil’s managing director Alison Watkins says she does not believe a sugar tax will improve overall public health, the company is listening to consumers’ needs and trying to slash sugar levels in products sold across Australia and New Zealand by 10% by 2020.

“We’re doing it either just by making things less sweet over time, gradually, or by using stevia, which is a naturally derived sweetener, to replace some of the sugar,” she says.

A print ad made by McCann tells consumers: “We’re listening. Sugar in moderation is fine but too much isn’t good for anyone”.

The company has reduced sugar across 22 drinks since 2015, including some of its biggest brands such as Fanta and Sprite.

READ MORE: Coca-Cola is reducing the sugar in even its full sugar drinks

KFC is handing out Colonel-themed pool floats

To mark Memorial Day in the US, KFC is handing out Colonel-shaped pool floats, and just in time for summer.

The fried chicken giant has launched a competition which consumers can enter for their chance to win one of the limited-edition lilo which features special holders designed to fit a KFC bucket and drinks. There are only a few hundred up for ups.

The float made its debut appearance in KFC’s most recent commercial, which featured actor George Hamilton lounging in the ocean. The ad was intended to reveal the company’s new crispy chicken sandwich.

“We want this to be the best summer ever, so it wasn’t enough for us to bring back George Hamilton as the Extra Crispy Colonel and debut a superior, craveable fried chicken sandwich that stands above the rest,” says KFC’s US CMP Andrea Zahumensky.

She adds that the company noticed the “over-the-top pool float trend” was engulfing social media and thought it would align with KFC’s ‘Extra Crispy’ lifestyle campaign.

READ MORE: KFC wants you to bask in the sun with a pool floatie-sized Colonel

Jägermeister gives Americans a team to support in the World Cup

The US may have failed to qualify for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Russia but Jägermeister is giving Americans a team to cheer for.

The German alcohol brand is partnering with a sports-tech and media entertainment platform to launch a football competition in order to engage US football fans.

Titled ‘The Real Shot’, the game is played on DraftKings’ Jägermeister platform and allows users to support a team during the World Cup tournament.

To play, participants pick a ‘Real Shot’ team which they believe will win the tournament. They must also select a winner for each of the 48 matches. Players earn points based on DraftKings’ customised scoring system.

At the end of group play the top 500 participants will receive Jägermeister branded prizes, while at the conclusion of the entire tournament the top five players will take home country-specific prizes from their community team, as well as a Jägermeister branded jacket.

Lastly, the player that finishes the competition with the most points overall will win an all-expenses trip to the winning team’s country to celebrate victory like a local.

READ MORE: Jagermeister launches bracket-style soccer game for World Cup

Calls for Amazon to stop selling facial recognition technology to police

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Critics are calling for Amazon to stop selling its real-time facial recognition technology ‘Rekognition’ to police.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is one of a dozen organisations demanding the retail giant stop selling a government surveillance infrastructure that poses a threat to customers and communities across the country. The ACLU argues the technology can be used to violate civil rights.

The image detection and recognition technology, which recognises faces, scenes and objects, is one of many offerings from Amazon Web Services (AWS). It uses artificial intelligence to identify people in photos and videos, therefore allowing law enforcement to track them.

According to the ACLU, law enforcement agencies in both Florida and Oregon are using the service for surveillance.

“People should be free to walk down the street without being watched by the government. Facial recognition in American communities threatens this freedom,” the ACLU says.

READ MORE: ACLU tells Amazon to stop selling facial recognition to police.

Russian telecom provider produces web series that ‘won’t waste your time’

Russian telecom provider Rostelecom and Bootleg have joined forces to make a short web series featuring 34 episodes, which are no more than 10 seconds long, with each episode linked to a specific brand product or service.

Titled ‘The Buzz’, the pre-roll drama allows every user to watch episodes one by one regardless of the time and location they start browsing YouTube.

If the series is of interest to the user they can then click on the pre-roll and visit The Buzz homepage to watch the reminder of the episode, as well as to purchase brand services and products.

At the time of writing the first five episodes had reached more than 7.5 million people.



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