Coca-Cola, ABA Accused of Tobacco-Like Deception in Lawsuit

Author: Matthew Campbell & Jennifer Kaplan, Bloomberg (USA), Published on: 4 January 2017

Coca-Cola Co. was sued by activists who compare the beverage giant’s advertising tactics to the tobacco industry’s past efforts in minimizing the health effects of its products and targeting children to replenish the ranks of its customers.  The nonprofit Praxis Project seeks to stop Coke and the Washington-based American Beverage Association from deceptive advertising of sugary drinks, particularly to children...Studies have linked sugary drinks to obesity, Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease...The lawsuit comes as drinks’ manufacturers seek to fend off regulatory assaults on multiple fronts...“From the 1950s until the late 1990s, the tobacco industry engaged in an elaborate campaign of disinformation to cast doubt on the science connecting cigarettes to lung cancer and other diseases,” Maia Kats, litigation director for the center, said in a statement...“Like the tobacco industry, Coca-Cola needs to replenish the ranks of its customers, and it tries to recruit them young,” Praxis said in its complaint...Coca-Cola products have labels providing calorie information, spokesman Kent Landers said in an e-mail, dismissing the lawsuit as meritless...“We take our consumers and their health very seriously,” he said...Atlanta-based Coca-Cola and its biggest competitors, PepsiCo Inc. and Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc., have pledged to decrease calories in their beverages and increase healthier options.

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Related companies: Coca-Cola Dr Pepper Snapple Group PepsiCo