The Coke Christmas Truck BacklashApril 16, 2018
There have been some quite serious concerns raised over the sugary message the Coke Christmas truck was carrying this year. When the Coke Christmas Truck arrived in Australia the response by the coalition of health bodies – which included the ADA, led by Parent’s Voice were worried about the impact the Cocoa-Cola marketing *push* would have.
Parents Voice recently joined by the Salvation Army to slam Coke’s marketing strategy. The Christmas truck was due to tour New South Wales and Queensland, stopping at Townsville, Mount Isa and Tamworth, where a staggering 73.9 percent of adults are either overweight or obese.
On the plus side, the Coke Christmas Truck tour did assist with the delivery of food and community facilities along the way. For many years Cocoa Cola has been in a humanitarian partnership with the Salvation Army. The unfortunate side effect of this partnership will be in the undermining of the health of the young people this truck meets.
Parents Voice are also concerned that the tuck is effectively *a giant mobile billboard that is marketing unhealthy products to vulnerable communities*. While Coca-Cola has stated that they are not deliberately targeting the marketing of their truck at Children, the tour finished up at Sydney’s Carols in the Domain where the multinational beverage maker is a major sponsor.
On tour, the Coke Christmas Truck effectively marketed their highly sugared drinks – which are a source of serious health issues, including diabetes and tooth decay. Intentional or not the drinks were advertised to those in Townsville who are amongst the heaviest per-population in Queensland with 21.4 percent overweight and 9.3 percent obese.
It is unfortunate that the truck which is promoted by Coca-Cola ties in the promotion of the festive Christmas season AND their sugary drink product. This is not a message that those in susceptible communities needed to hear.
The message that would be better promoted is the one that was promoted earlier as part of World Cavity-Free Future Day. Choose water over sugary drinks for long-term oral and general health of children.