Coke’s chief marketer ridicules ‘fat tax’ demands

Coca-Cola’s top marketer Joseph Tripodi has hit back with a robust response to recent calls from US medical experts for a “fat tax” to be imposed on soft drinks companies.

Coca-Cola: Talking about lifestyle
Coca-Cola: Talking about lifestyle

New York City health commissioner Dr Thomas Farley is among the leading health experts that recently reignited the debate on fizzy drinks and obesity.

They believe the introduction of heavier taxes on all sweetened soft drinks can be used to combat obesity and help fund public health initiatives.

But Tripodi, Coca-Cola’s chief marketing and commercial officer, says the health experts have found “a simplistic solution to a complex problem”. “We don’t think about our waters, our juices or our tea drinks being healthier or better for consumers than a full calorie Coke.

“Those who do are looking at it with the premise that calories are bad and we don’t think that’s necessarily the case,” says Tripodi. “To put all the blame for society’s health and wellness issues on one industry is ridiculous. The real problem is consumers not getting enough exercise and taking in more calories than they work off.”

Tripodi says Coke plans to use its marketing to “significantly dial up its commitment to getting kids engaged with active, healthy lifestyles”.

“We’re going to be talking about lifestyle within the overall brand personality of each of our drinks, and amplifying the programmes we currently have in those areas.”

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