Coca-Cola to stop advertising to under-12s

Coca-Cola has pledged not to advertise to under-12s, one of four pledges it has made to help tackle obesity throughout the world as it looks to ward off criticism its sugary drinks contribute to health problems.

CokeAntiObesity-Campaign-2013

The four commitments, which will cover all the soft drink company’s 200+ markets, were announced yesterday (8 May) in the US by chief executive Muhtar Kent, under the banner “Partnering for Healthier, Happier, More Active Communities”.

The four pledges are:

  • To offer low- or no- calorie beverage options in every market
  • Provide transparent nutrition information, featuring calories on the front of all beverage packages
  • To help get people moving by supporting physical activity programs in every country where it does business
  • Market responsibly, including no advertising to children under 12 anywhere in the world

Kent said: “Obesity is today’s most challenging health issue, affecting nearly every family and community across the globe.  It is a global societal problem which will take all of us working together and doing our part.

 “We are committed to being part of the solution, working closely with partners from business, government and civil society.”

The soft drink giant has been steadily increasing the volume of activity in the UK promoting healthy lifestyles over the past year in the face of criticism from health campaigners that it and other producers of sugary drinks play a big role in rising obesity levels.

It launched a TV campaign in March to highlight the action it has already taken to tackle obesity. It is also a signatory to the Government’s anti-obesity “responsibility deal” with the private sector, recently announcing the introduction of reduced calorie Sprite in the UK.

Kent added that Coke cannot tackle the obesity crisis on its own, calling for closer collaboration between “business, government and civil society”.

Yesterday, executives from Coke, Nichols and trade body BSDA industry vowed to work more collaboratively and proactively to promote the good work it does in areas such as nutrition.

Coke has launched a website, www.comingtogether.com, to detail what it is doing and to invite feedback on its progress.

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