US anti-obesity Coke ads may air in NZ

Coca-Cola is considering whether its new anti-obesity campaign will air New Zealand. Photo / NZ Herald
Coca-Cola is considering whether its new anti-obesity campaign will air New Zealand. Photo / NZ Herald

Coca-Cola is considering whether its new anti-obesity campaign will air New Zealand.

The soft drink giant this week aired a two-minute television ad in the United States which notes all calories that are not burned off by consumers, including those in its namesake soft drink, contribute to weight gain.

The US campaign has drawn some criticism, with one industry critic telling Reuters the move was "a full-blown exercise in damage control".

But Coca-Cola said the campaign stemmed from its commitment to being part of the obesity discussion.

Coca-Cola Oceania spokesman Josh Gold said the company was evaluating the US campaign's relevance to the New Zealand market.

"We're going to take a look at it and see its impact and discuss it," he said.

Coca-Cola Amatil's outgoing New Zealand managing director George Adams said yesterday there was a "strong possibility" similar advertisements would screen here soon.

The company has already put a number of policies in place in New Zealand, including front-of-pack energy labelling on nearly all of its products, low- and no-calorie drink options, and smaller packaging sizes.

Mr Gold said it also had a long-standing policy against direct marketing to children under the age of 12.

He said all Coca-Cola products had a place in an active, healthy lifestyle which included a sensible, balanced diet and regular physical activity.

"But all foods and beverages have the potential to contribute excess calories, so it is essential that consumers are mindful of the total quantity of calories they consume."

- APNZ

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