Though Coca-Cola has discontinued funding physical activity programs, the Washington Post today took the company to task for its past PR practices.
It reported on the Atlanta marketing powerhouse’s pre-2016 PR push aimed at teens, despite rising concerns about obesity among young people.
The story is based on a new paper published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health on RFPs by Coke.
The goal of the 2013 "Movement is Happiness" campaign was "to increase Coke brand health scores with teens" and to "cement credibility in the health and well-being space."
Ken Landers, VP-PA & Communications at Coke, said his company is long out of the physical activity business and "repositioned" as a "total beverage company" selling juice, water, drinks, tea, coffee, sports/energy drinks and sodas.
He said Coke now recognizes that too much sugar isn’t good for anyone, "which is why, around the world we are reducing the amount of sugar in our products and taking other steps to help people reduce their sugar intake."
That belongs in the better late than never department.
What does the Post want? Does it want Coke to take a cue from the traditional Latin Mass, prostrate itself and pray, "Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa."
Anticipating an onslaught of fake news from Vladimir Putin and Russian "active measures" (bots, troll farms, phony accounts and hack & dump operations) during the run-up to the 2020 elections, the Democratic National Committee has issued a handy-dandy primer on “combating online disinformation.”
The reason for the DNC guide: "Countries that are resilient to disinformation and foreign influence rely on whole-of-society approaches focused on digital literacy and awareness of disinformation tactics." That includes Democrats, Republicans, Independents and Others.
The DNC recommends getting news from multiple authoritative sources. "Information you seek out directly will usually be of higher quality than what you passively absorb online."
Internet users should avoid being manipulated by divisive or dishonest content and stop sharing downright crazy stuff. "Social media tends to reward the most outrageous and often false takes on any event. When you share, make sure you are sharing content that is true and helpful to others, not as a knee-jerk reaction to content that angers or scares you."
The best advice from the DNC: Avoid Russian propaganda outlets RT and Sputnik and read George Orwell’s "1984."
Orwell's "Animal Farm" is another good read during our time of rising inequality.