War on Soda

Coca-Cola Admits That It Makes Americans Fat in New Ad

“Happy calories.” Photo: Coca-Cola

Bloomberg and Bittman will be pleased to hear that the world’s No. 1 beverage company is joining the discussion on obesity. Coca-Cola’s new ad, which will air during the most watched shows on CNN, FOX News, and MSNBC, will acknowledge that soda contributes to weight gain. But, of course, the spot will also make the point that obesity is the result of too many calories of any kind, and that over the years, Coke has been selling drinks with fewer calories. Though this is certainly a defensive move, it’s impressive that the company’s speaking out about the issue for the first time. “We have not done a good enough job in telling our story and being consistent in telling our story,” said Coca-Cola spokeswoman Diana Garza Ciarlante. (“And we want to make Pepsi and Beyoncé feel like shit,” she did not add.)

The first ad will be somber, with a narrator saying that obesity “concerns all of us” and asking everyone to “come together.” But a second spot, which will air later this week during American Idol and before the Pepsi-backed Super Bowl, will show peppy, toned models doing a montage of activities (like dancing, laughing, and walking a dog) that can burn off a can of Coke’s “140 happy calories.” Stop trying to make “happy” the new “empty.”

Coca-Cola to Address Obesity for First Time in Ads [AP]
Earlier: Mark Bittman Calls Out Beyoncé for Hawking Soda

Update: Here’s the ad.

Coca-Cola Admits That It Makes Americans Fat in New Ad