Dope

by Andrew Stuttaford

Oh good grief.

From the Guardian.

Coca-Cola came out on Monday night. The world’s most valuable brand, broadcast an advert suggesting they, possibly, have a problem with sugar. In a certain first in the history of food and beverage advertising, it mentioned the o-word – obesity. This comes 126 years after Coca-Cola’s invention, many of them spent in denial of the most damning medical evidence about the “right one’s” failings over a number of damaging and addictive substances – caffeine, sugar, teeth-rotting acids and cocaine.

It’s not quite the Coca-Cola polar bears, but the ad, broadcast on US cable networks, is showing impressive reach. By Wednesday, David Cameron was describing telling the House of Commons “how big the challenge” is of stopping his own children drinking too much Coca-Cola.

Cry me a river. It’s easy to see why the poor fellow is struggling a bit in office too.

Back to the Guardian:

Just as in 1903 [Coca Cola] had to admit, after a newspaper exposé, that its drink contained significant amounts of cocaine, its new TV ad confronts the fact that it contains a lot (nine spoonfuls a can) of sugar. “There’s an important conversation going on about obesity out there”, said Coca-Cola North America’s Stuart Kronauge as he launched the ad. “We want to be a part of the conversation.”

Ridiculous. Beyond a certain, worthwhile, educational point, the fuss over obesity is about control, not health, about public declarations of the superior morality of the food police, and about the state lurching into yet another area where it does not belong. Big Brother doesn’t do conversation, he does surrender, and for Coca Cola to believe otherwise is delusional.

And if you have any doubt as to what is on the agenda, just read this from the same article:

Robert Lustig, professor of paediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco is leading a campaign for a punitive tax: “It [sugar] meets all the criteria for societal intervention that alcohol and tobacco meet,” he said last year.

“Societal intervention.” Ah yes, that.

Lustig, I note, is a professor of pediatrics. “For the children,” I suppose. Again.

And now I turn with anticipation to a glass of Coke Zero, a fine product that is the result of the only “conversation” that Coca Cola should be having.

The one with the market.